Finalizing an estate plan means accepting that incapacity and death are possibilities. It can be hard for people in Texas to confront that reality about themselves. Making an estate plan is a lot of work, but it’s worth it because an estate plan can save a lot of grief for families and friends of the deceased in the long run. It’s a good idea to communicate some of the contours of the plan to the expected beneficiaries to avoid surprises.
When and what to say
It’s not always a great idea to burden young children with details about end-of-life plans. In most cases, it won’t mean much to them. In others, it might scare them. But it can be beneficial to discuss some estate plan details with older teens. For one thing, it will demystify the process for them.
Someday, children will need to know how to do all of this for themselves. Many adults know nothing about estate planning, so familiarizing young adults with the process is not a bad idea. It’s also prudent to let them know what they should expect after their parents are gone. High-net-worth parents may have plans to leave resources to charities, for example. They may want to leave money to their children in a trust, so it can be managed professionally.
Advising family members of what to expect can prevent hurt feelings or hiccups in the handling of the estate farther down the line. Also, estate planning isn’t just about death; there’s always the chance that someone can be incapacitated. Family members should know what’s in health care proxy and power of attorney documents.
An experienced lawyer may be helpful in crafting a comprehensive estate plan. Estate law professionals may be able to help clients plan for any contingency.