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Plan carefully before discussing your estate plan with family

Your estate plan is something that helps to protect your family members when you pass away. You probably spent considerable time getting everything set how you wanted it, but there might be some questions from your family members about what the plan entails.

Taking the time to discuss your estate plan with your family members benefits you greatly, and it also provides them with the opportunity to get clarifications on anything they aren't sure about. While this discussion might not be easy, it is very important. Handle this process properly so that everyone walks away with a clear understanding of what should happen.

Prepare before the discussion

Before you get ready to speak to your family members, review the estate plan to see if there is anything that you've changed your mind about. Some items, such as irrevocable trusts, can't be changed. However, you might want to fix up a few things before you talk to them. You should also get emotionally prepared because this likely going to be a deep discussion.

Keep everything factual and calm

When you discuss everything with your loved ones, remember that you have to keep calm and remain factual. Some points in your plan might not be what the heirs expect. In these cases, you should discuss the reasoning behind your decisions if it is appropriate to do so. If you don't feel as though it is, find a tactful way that you can relay this information to them.

Be ready to answer questions

As you go over the plan, they might have questions about the contents. In many cases, this is done with an honest intent. Try not to get upset. Instead, think carefully so that you can give them the answer they need in a tactful manner. There might be some difficult questions coming up, especially if you have points in the plan that your family members aren't going to think are correct.

Remember to double check your estate plan periodically to ensure that it is still reflective of your wishes. As new family members and others pass away, as well as when you have major life changes like marriage or divorce, you might need to change the estate plan to reflect this information.

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