Estate Planning? What to Tell Your Family

Estate Planning - What to Tell Your Family

Estate planning can be a difficult, but necessary part of your adult life. Your loved ones will have to bear the burden of mourning their loss when you’re gone, but you do not want them to be surprised about the contents of your will or estate. Rather than leaving the contents of your will as a surprise, talk to family about your plans.

Why Talk to Family About Your Will

Speaking to your family about your will and estate plans prior to your passing is imperative to maintaining family structure. It also provides a measure of comfort to your loved ones. In wake of your passing, you do not want your family bickering over the contents of your will. Speaking to them beforehand allows them to be prepared and knowledgeable – so there are no surprises.

While speaking about death is an uneasy topic, it should be a conversation worth having. Not only to normalize it but to prepare your family for the future.

How to Prepare Your Will

As you prepare for your talk with your family, you need to strategize what exactly to tell them – as well as what to do with your will. Many people will be too concerned with who deserves money when estate planning. Estate planning should be what you hope to achieve with your money. While wondering how to divide your money, you should think about:


  • Ensuring that a surviving spouse is well taken care of
  • Leaving money to a charity you believe strongly in
  • If there is any relative with a disability, consider what that money will do for them
  • If there are grandchildren in the picture, you want them to get the best education that they can


After you have drawn up a rough draft of your will, set a time aside to speak with your family. Make sure everyone to who you are planning to leave money is there, so you can speak to them face to face. This is not a conversation you want to have over the phone. Make it clear that the topic that will be discussed at the time of the meeting will be your will, so no one is surprised. Also, keep in mind, this is your will and no one can dictate what goes in it other than you.

What To Tell Your Family About Your Will

People will have questions, so make sure you’ve prepared reasons to give them as to why you are leaving money to specific people. If you are planning to leave a good portion of your estate to someone in the family who will need help, make sure you state this clearly. By linking a general concern the whole family has to the reason why money is going to that person it will help them better understand and agree. 


It’s also suggested to be as tactful as you can. Discussing a will can be emotional, so you have to be tactful. You have not let emotions dictate how the meeting goes. Additionally, it’s fine to say that the will’s permeates are “just for now” and that you are open to suggestions. Just remember what was said before – this is your will and your decision.

Estate Planning Isn’t Easy, But You Don’t Need to Be Alone

While it’s stressed that drawing up a will or an estate plan is personal, it can be a difficult thing to do. This is Why Smith Barid is here for you. With expert estate planning lawyers ready to assist you with your estate planning, you can rest assured that everything will be okay for your family after you’ve passed. Established since 2006, the team at Smith Barid knows exactly how to walk you through the process to ensure a successful plan.


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