What you decide to do in your estate plan is up to you, but that does not mean you should keep the details to yourself. Telling your family what you decide or consulting with them before you make it can pave the way for a smoother future.
Here are some of the reasons why that is so:
You can help people prepare
You could tell your family that if you ever fall seriously ill, you want them to go to the second drawer in your filing cabinet, and there they will find your advanced health care directive. They can consult it if the doctors have questions about your treatment preferences, and for anything not covered, the document shows your eldest son has health care power of attorney. So, the doctors should listen to them, regardless of what your other children might say.
You could also tell them who will have legal power of attorney to handle bills or paperwork if you are unable to.
Making all that clear now allows people to act swiftly in the event of an emergency, and it also reduces the chance of arguments over decisions.
You can make informed decisions on asset distribution
If you have ever struggled to buy a Christmas present for a family member, you will realize that you do not entirely know what they do and don’t like. Just as people feel obliged to smile when someone gives them a present they dislike, they can feel obliged to hold on to items someone bequeaths them that they do not want.
Consulting with your family about who likes what can help you find the right home for each of your possessions. Sometimes, no family member wants a particular thing and allowing them to state that now frees you to pass it outside the family, sell it or donate it to charity.
Estate planning has many options, so consider seeking help to learn more before talking to your family.