One of the biggest challenges of discussing estate planning with your children in Michigan is the fact that it can be a very emotional topic. You may be worried about how your children will react to the news, or you may be concerned about their ability to handle the information. Thankfully, there are things that you can do to make the process easier and more effective.
Comfort and convenience
The first thing you want to consider is the fact that some conversations are better held in a location where everyone feels very comfortable. If you have a child that is very anxious or skittish, having the conversation at their home may help to ease some of their fears. You’ll also want to consider the time of day that you have the conversation. If everyone is tired or stressed from work, it may not be the best time to have a serious discussion. Therefore, consider everyone’s schedules and try to find a time that works for everyone.
What do you want to achieve?
What do you want your children to know by the end of the discussion? Do you want them to be able to make decisions on your behalf if something happens to you? Do you simply want them to be aware of your wishes? If, for instance, your goal is to have your children be able to make decisions on your behalf, then you’ll want to discuss things like medical directives and power of attorney. On the other hand, if you just want them to be aware of your wishes, then a simple will may suffice.
Explain everyone’s roles and responsibilities
It’s important that your children understand their roles in your estate plan. If you’re giving them the responsibility of carrying out your wishes, be sure to explain exactly what you need from them and what they can expect. This will help to avoid any confusion or misunderstandings down the road. If you’re selecting people from outside your family to act as trustees, executors or other estate planning professionals, be sure to explain why you’ve chosen them and what their responsibilities will be.
Ultimately, you want to have a discussion that is open and honest. You want your children to feel like they can ask questions and express their concerns. Having an estate planning talk doesn’t have to be a daunting task if you’re prepared and everyone is on the same page.