Holiday Talks, Part 1: A Wonderful Time of the Year to Discuss Future Plans

A Minneapolis Estate Planning Lawyer Urges Families to Discuss Their Estate Plans During the Holidays

It’s difficult to believe that it’s “that time of year again.” How often do you hear that every November/December? For many, this is the time of year to spend time with family and friends. For this estate planning lawyer, the busiest time of the year is generally November through January. Why?

I believe there are two reasons: family get togethers and resolutions. What do these have to do with estate planning? Nothing at first glance but dig deeper and you will find that children often come home for the first time in months – maybe even years – and get the chance to see and talk to their parents in person. Perhaps this meeting triggers thoughts of “Dad seems a bit more tired this year” or “Mom keeps forgetting her car keys.”  And so, the environment and circumstances provide a great opportunity to discuss estate planning with our loved ones. I know what you’re thinking. “Only an estate planning attorney would say such a thing.”

And I do know what a challenging topic this is to broach. No one likes to talk about death and disability (particularly our own). Conversations regarding personal finances can feel intrusive. And there always exists the potential to cause controversy within the family. Despite all of this, estate planning (or lack thereof) will invariably affect you and your family. As a Minnesota probate lawyer, I see how lack of (or improper) planning can have devastating – both emotionally and financially – affects on those left behind.

It is better to have this conversation with the ones you love most, to properly establish expectations ahead of a period of crisis and/or grieving. Communication of wishes before an event takes place is always better than forcing others to guess later.

So please consider seizing the opportunity this holiday season to have a discussion with your loved ones about these important issues.
In this three-part series, we will explore and advise on the issues surrounding estate planning discussions. This post addresses the need to have a discussion. In part 2 we will cover the elder generation in discussing their plans with adult children. In part 3, we’ll explore how the children should engage their parents.

Contact a Minnesota Estate Planning Lawyer today to assist with the discussion and planning!