As Thanksgiving and end of year holidays approach, consider taking a few moments of the time you spend with your family this season to discuss your estate plans. American families are growing increasingly geographically distant, so family gatherings during the holidays are an ideal time to talk about plans and wishes for the future.
Unsure of how to start the conversation? Select a moment when you and your family members can spend time together in a calm, comfortable, and distraction-free environment. Talking to your family about your estate plans allows family members the chance to understand, appreciate, and support those decisions now and later after you are gone. The conversation does not need to focus solely on money, but on your intent.
Tips for a successful estate planning conversation:
- Treat it like a family meeting.
- Put cell phones away and avoid having any other distractions in the room.
- Make sure everyone, even those family members who did not make it this year, are included. Include out-of-towners via phone or video call.
- Keep the discussion short and set up a follow up meeting in the future.
You should not feel pressured to address all aspects of your and your family’s estate planning in one sitting. It may make sense to schedule a dedicated family meeting after the holidays to continue the discussion.
Estate planning is not just for you—it is something you do for those you care about. While no one is entitled to an inheritance, thankfulness, gratitude, and estate planning go hand in hand. As we approach Thanksgiving and think about all we have—no matter how much or how little in the form of material possessions, we should contemplate how we have planned for our affairs.
This holiday season, we at Cumberland Trust are thankful for each of our professional advisors, clients, and employees who have helped us grow and succeed. We appreciate the relationships you have helped us to build, and we are grateful for the opportunity to serve you in the years to come.