Creating an estate plan is not as easy as many people think. This is because unless you communicate the plan and principle behind it to your family, trustees, agents, guardians, and executors, your entire plan risks failing.
However, holding a family meeting can and seeking input from your family when estate planning can ensure that everyone understands the reasons why you are distributing your property in a certain manner. However before you hold the meeting, you need to determine who needs to attend that meeting.
So, Who Should Attend the Meeting?
First, you need to determine who you need to invite for the meeting. The most obvious people who you need to invite include your spouse and children as well as any other family member who will be affected by the plan. Also, it is important to invite some non-family members and request that they act as trustees, executors, guardians, or agents of the minor children present.
Furthermore, it is important to include some key advisors because they can help you in:
Answering questions about how the estate planning works
Creating a chance for your family, advisors and representatives to known each other. This can assist them in building trust and improving the chances of your plan to work smoothly when execution time comes.
Now, since you've spent a considerable amount of your time designing your estate plan, you need to pass that information to your family. You can choose to hold one or more meeting with your family, which can assist you to ensure that your family understands the reasons why you distributed the property in the manner that you have chosen. In addition, the meeting ensures that your agents know and accept any responsibilities allocated to them. Lack of clear communication can leave your loved ones in the dark, and this can lead to several misunderstandings and conflicts, which can hurt their feelings.
So, How Do You Ask for Input From Your Family?
First, you need to sit your family down, review your estate plan with them, and let every family member know their allocations. Furthermore, let your family know the overview of your estate planning choices you have made, and the reasons behind them — this is very important.
Next, you need to discuss other issues like the management of the assets that have special significance — such as family heirlooms or vacation homes, and charitable giving. In addition, don't forget to discuss the decisions about why which family members have been chosen to be executors, agents, and guardians amongst others.