A new study on retirement conducted by financial advisors Edward Jones says 2/3 of Americans said the pandemic brought them closer to their family – but only 28% of those over 65 “have yet to begin discussing their end-of-life care preferences with anyone at all, including their family.” This is a difficult conversation for anyone to have with their family and loved ones.
When a loved one dies, family conflict and stress are too often a result, primarily because the deceased did not let their family know their wishes in advance. Communicate the contents of your estate plan, health care preferences and end-of-life choices to your family so when the inevitable happens, they are prepared.
Thinking about a loved one becoming ill or dying is very stressful, and most people try to avoid thinking about the inevitable. It’s difficult to set down with your family members and heirs and tell them what is in your will, trusts and medical directives, especially if you anticipate they will not fully support your decisions. Here are some actions you can take to prepare your family and let them know what is in your estate plan.
1. Call A Family Meeting
Schedule a time to sit down with your spouse, adult children, parents and other key family members and heirs to review your estate plan.
2. Share Your Final Wishes
Tell your family members your healthcare preferences, end of life decisions, where your will or trust is located and who your estate planning attorney is.
3. Discuss Your Estate Plan
Depending on your preferences, you can share the contents of your estate plan with your family in detail or very generally. Each family interacts differently, and you likely know the best way to avoid future miscommunications, stress or family conflict when you die.
If you need help telling your loved ones your final wishes, ask an experienced estate planning lawyer for guidance. They can help you plan the conversation, and even meet with your family to help make your wishes known. Estate Planning Attorney Mario Godoy helps clients plan for peace of mind and protect their loved ones:
“Deciding how to handle your medical care if you are seriously injured or ill, planning for distribution of your assets and providing for the future of your loved ones can be very stressful and strain family ties. As experienced estate planning attorneys, we advise our clients to minimize risk and potential future family conflicts by encouraging our clients to talk to their families and have an open and honest conversation about their plans.”
• Family Conflict Is #1 Threat to Estate Planning
To talk to a qualified estate planning attorney in Chicago or Lombard, contact the Estate & Probate Legal Group at 630-864-5835.
AREAS WE SERVE: Cook, Dupage, Kane, Lake, and Will counties