Some people, hearing “estate planning,” may think of death, not life.
True, a will or trust direct your assets’ distribution at death.
But estate planning is about more than wills and trusts.
Lawyers do their job when they draft your documents. Some tasks, though, still fall on you.
One is to work to get your family on the same page while you’re alive and capable.
No, you don’t have to read your will out loud.
But you might want to explain to your middle son why he will receive his bequest over time, not all at once.
Or explain to your daughter why your eldest son is your health care/financial agent.
Tensions resulting from worry or grief’s effect on unexplained or unresolved issues can rip a family apart, precisely when its members need each other the most.
You can help prevent such strife by explaining “unexpected” decisions before they happen.
So have a family dinner. Have the “kids” bring the wine and the dogs (but not the grandkids).
And start the conversation. Your family will be the better and the stronger for it.