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Communicating Your Plans With Loved Ones

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Talking with loved ones about how you plan to distribute your possessions and assets after you're gone is an easy topic to put off. Many people believe it's a matter best kept between themselves and their professional advisors. Sharing your decisions with the people they affect, however, can provide peace of mind now and avoid misunderstandings later. Here are some tips to get you started.

Choosing Whom to Involve
Consider family who need to be—or think they need to be—in the loop. Your spouse, children, parents, siblings and even in-laws may have emotional connections to your financial decisions. Only you can decide whom to include when you communicate your estate planning choices.

How to Approach the Encounter
  • Decide if you want a trusted advocate with you. Would you feel more comfortable and communicate more effectively if a third party, such as your attorney or financial advisor, were present to lend objectivity?
  • Schedule your discussion around an occasion that celebrates your life and your family, when it's natural for you to talk about life's milestones and what's important to you.
  • Begin by openly sharing what you intend to accomplish through the financial decisions you've made. Common gift planning objectives include preserving your wealth, eliminating excessive taxes, passing wealth to the next generation and continuing philanthropic support after you are gone.
  • Recap by explaining how philanthropy meets your charitable and financial goals. You may find a circle of loved ones who support the important life decisions you have made.

Contact Pat Larsen at 925-686-5353, Ext. 150 or if Carondelet High School fits into your plans. We would be happy to discuss your options, at no obligation.

Learn more about planning your legacy in our free guide.

Estate Planning Issues to Discuss
Your will or trust. Note the bequests you have made, where important papers can be found, and the names of your executor, trustee and attorney.

Durable power of attorney. This document allows a person you choose today to manage your financial responsibilities if you should become incapacitated.

Health care proxy. This document names someone to make health care decisions on your behalf in the event you are incapacitated.

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The information on this website is not intended as legal or tax advice. For legal or tax advice, please consult an attorney. Figures cited in examples are for hypothetical purposes only and are subject to change. References to estate and income taxes apply to federal taxes only. State income/estate taxes or state law may impact your results.