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Important Estate Planning Discussions to Have

Estate planning is important and so is talking about estate planning. Unfortunately, there are not exactly people lining up eagerly to talk about death and incapacitation. Regardless, these are topics we should all confront at some level or another. This is because our death and incapacitation effects not just us, but others that we care about. We owe it to ourselves and our loved ones to have the difficult conversations so that we are all on the same page in our plans for the future.

Important Estate Planning Discussions to Have

Your plans for the future need not be some grand secret and, in fact, it can be best to have open and frank discussions with your loved ones to help prepare them for what lies ahead. Far too many family relationships have been destroyed by people being surprised at asset distributions set forth in a loved one’s estate plans after their death. Help manage expectations and explain your reasoning behind your decisions while you are alive and can do so. Talk to your family about who you want to inherit your assets and why. These are the difficult conversations that can make the difference in avoiding huge conflicts later.

You should also talk to your loved ones about who you want to manage your affairs and make decisions for you in the event you become incapacitated. This is first to help prepare your selected decisionmaker for this role, should the need arise. Second, it is to verify that your selected decisionmaker is up for this role and agrees to accept it should the need arise. Lastly, these conversations give you the opportunity to explain your selection to others who may not understand why they themselves were not selected for the role. Again, this can help avoid hurt feelings and needless conflict further down the road and when circumstances are much more stressful.

You will also want to discuss your health care treatment preferences and end of life care preferences with your loved ones, particularly those that you have named to assume roles of responsibility in managing your care and affairs should you become incapacitated. Talk to them about where you want to be treated, who you want to provide this treatment, and what treatment you would or would not want to receive under certain circumstances. The clearer and more specific you are in these conversations, the better equipped your loved ones will be to help ensure your wishes are honored.

It is also important to discuss your long-term care plans with your loved ones. After all, the majority of us will need, on some level, long-term care at some point in our lives. Long-term care is expensive and often requires a move into a nursing home or residential care facility. Talk to your loved ones about your wishes and how you plan to finance you care preferences. Will you be applying for Medicaid? Medicaid has strict financial eligibility rules and will often involve planning ahead to help ensure your savings are not decimated during the Medicaid spenddown. 

Minnesota Estate Planning Attorney

Have the tough conversations, put a comprehensive estate plan in place, and gain all of the benefits this all has to offer. The team at Unique Estate Law is here to help. Contact us today. From within Hennepin County Unique Estate Law represents clients throughout Minnesota, including Minneapolis, Bloomington, St. Louis Park, Minnetonka, Wayzata, Chanhassen, and Excelsior.