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What are some estate issues to discuss with heirs?

On Behalf of | May 25, 2021 | Estate Planning |

As you make your estate plans, consider discussing what you have in mind with everyone involved like your family members or anyone who will inherit from you. Keeping your estate plans in the dark while you are alive might cause misunderstandings among your heirs after your death. In addition, your family may have problems closing out your estate if they lack certain information.

People have different ideas for their estates. You may handle the disposition of your assets by composing a will or establishing a trust. However you go about it, Kiplinger explains different forms of estate planning worth going over with your heirs.

Discussing your will

Bringing up the topic of a last will and testament might not be easy for you, but your heirs should know your intentions. They might believe they will receive more in assets than you have planned for them. Also, one or more of your heirs might express a preference for a certain asset and could contest the will in court if they do not receive it.

Even if your heirs become disappointed about your decisions, you might help them accept your choices if you are there to discuss the issues with them. You may even change your mind about a few things once you have gauged your family’s opinions.

Discussing your trust

There are many reasons why people establish a trust. You may remove assets from an estate to avoid probate, shield assets from creditors, or transfer assets to charities. Regardless of the reason, it may be beneficial to tell your heirs of your plans, especially if the assets in the trust will not go to your heirs. This could help your heirs understand that they will not receive the trust assets and your reasons for doing so.

Discussing your documents

If you were to die and your heirs did not know where you placed your will or other estate documents, closing out your estate could become a legal nightmare. You should keep your important papers in a safe and secure place while also ensuring someone like an attorney or a trusted family member knows how to access them. If you have doubts about discussing your documents in person, consider making a video file to play after your death that tells where you have placed your documents.