Income, wealth and wealth management are not things that are commonly discussed in American households. When these topics do come up, it can leave the individuals involved feeling uncomfortable. This is one reason why so many people procrastinate when it comes to estate planning. We hope that the tips provided below will serve as a strong starting point for those who wish to have meaningful conversations with their loved ones about estate planning.
The first tip is to slowly shift into having more conversations about wealth and wealth management. Those who suddenly and unexpectedly jump into those issues can leave family members a bit shell-shocked, which can cause even the best laid plans to go astray. By slowly changing one's behavior with regards to how this matter is addressed, as well as how frequently addressed, those on the receiving end of communications about estate planning may very well be more receptive.
Another tip is to effective estate planning communication is to create a safe place. This is most easily accomplished by creating ground rules to implement at family meetings. This can allow every individual to have a say in the matter that is heard and respected by all parties involved. Such an inclusive place can allow everyone to feel like they have a share in the outcome of the conversation.
The last tip is to obtain a better understanding of communication styles. Individuals who possess different communication styles can fail to understand each other, thereby causing tension when it comes to discussing estate planning. Those who are able to obtain an understanding of communication styles, though, can better interpret where all parties to the discussion are coming from. This can lead to much more productive discussions and more successful conflict resolution.
Estate planning is both a deeply personal and a familial matter. By preparing yourself to broach the topic with your loved ones, you can remove the fear of moving forward with your estate planning. If you'd like to learn more about the estate planning process and how to include your family, consider discussing the matter with a legal professional you trust.