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Starting a Conversation about Estate Planning

estate planning, estate plan, lawyer, attorney, family lawyer, family law attorneyWhether you are a parent or an adult child interested in beginning a conversation about getting affairs in order, the prospect of discussing your loved one’s death can be intimidating. However, once the participants get over the initial discomfort, having an open discussion about estate planning matters can prove highly beneficial. Here are some tips to open the lines of communication.

Having a Conversation

It is important to have honest yet sensitive communication among close family regarding estate planning. Doing so will help make sure that expectations and feelings about certain responsibilities or obligations designated by the documents are shared with one another.

For example, perhaps the one intended to serve as trustee to an estate is not comfortable doing so. Knowing this in advance, the testator can make the necessary provisions. It also gives beneficiaries the opportunity to understand the testator’s intentions with their estate. Clear communication in advance will help to ensure proper distribution of assets as well as clear up any confusion or conflict in the future. Communication can also aid in the decision making process regarding specific issues that truly reflect the testator’s wishes.

Specific consideration based on the roles within the family include:

  • Adult children should ensure their parents have executed necessary estate planning documents and will be provided for if one of them passes away or becomes incapacitated.
  • Parents should ensure their children understand their plans and final wishes and appoint guardians for any minor children. Such guardians should be consulted with ahead of time and should understand the parents’ intentions for their children.
  • Grandparents and other relatives should make sure their descendants are provided for in their estate planning documents and may wish to coordinate with their children or other parents of named beneficiaries as well.

Starting the Conversation

Now that it is clear that having a family conversation regarding estate planning is in everyone’s best interest, the question becomes how to initiate the discussion. While those involved should open lines of communication in whatever way feels appropriate to them, some suggestions on doing so include:
  • Choosing a comfortable, supportive environment when all participants are calm. Avoid beginning this conversation when the family is in crisis or conflict, as emotions may inhibit open conversation.
  • Showing sincerity regarding the motivations for having the discussion. Be up front in organizing the conversation in order to ensure that family members have appropriate plans in place and their wishes are understood by everyone involved.
  • Emphasizing the necessity of having the discussion and the benefits that doing so will have on those involved, perhaps by giving an example of a mishandled estate that could have been avoided had the family discussed their plans with one another.
Estate Planning Attorney Estate planning can be a sensitive topic, but a knowledgeable estate planning attorney can make their clients feel much more comfortable with the entire process. The experienced attorneys at Davi Law Group, LLC are available to meet with you regarding your estate. Feel free to contact us for a consultation. We serve clients in Chicago and the surrounding area.
Abraham Lincoln A lawyer’s time and advice are his stock and trade. -Abraham Lincoln
Warrenville Office
Address28371 Davis Parkway
Suite 103
Warrenville, IL 60555
Phone(630) 657-5052
Fax(888) 350-9195
Wheaton Office
Address1776 S. Naperville Road
Building A, Suite 105
Wheaton, IL 60189
Phone(630) 580-6373
Fax(888) 350-9195
Chicago Office
Address321 N. Clark Street
Suite 900
Chicago, IL 60654
Phone(312) 985-5676
Fax(888) 350-9195
Joliet Office
Address58 N. Chicago Street
7th Floor
Joliet, IL 60432
Phone(815) 582-4901
Fax(888) 350-9195
Davi Law Group, LLC handles family law, estate planning and real estate matters for clients in Chicago and throughout the western suburbs including DuPage County, Will County, Kane County, Kendall County and Cook County and the cities of Aurora, Bloomingdale, Bolingbrook, Carol Stream, Darien, Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Geneva, Glen Ellyn, Hinsdale, Joliet, Kendall County, Lisle, Lombard, Naperville, Oak Park, Oak Brook, Oswego, Park Ridge, Roselle, St. Charles, Villa Park, Warrenville, Wheaton, Winfield, Woodridge and Yorkville, Illinois.
Warrenville Office
Address28371 Davis Parkway, Suite 103, Warrenville, IL 60555
Phone(630) 657-5052
Fax(888) 350-9195
Wheaton Office
Address1776 S. Naperville Road, Building A, Suite 105, Wheaton, IL 60189
Phone(630) 580-6373
Fax(888) 350-9195
Chicago Office
Address321 N. Clark Street, Suite 900, Chicago, IL 60654
Phone(312) 985-5676
Fax(888) 350-9195
Joliet Office
Address58 N. Chicago Street, 7th Floor,
Joliet, IL 60432
Phone(815) 582-4901
Fax(888) 350-9195
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