As people come together for the holidays, the topic of estate planning may sound morbid or awkward to discuss. However, it is so important to have these conversations with your loved ones to ensure you and your family are protected should the unexpected occur.

These conversations about estate planning are vital, and what better time to bring it up than when all of the parties involved are gathered together to celebrate the holidays.

5 Tips for Introducing the Topic of Estate Planning

As your family gathers around the table during a holiday party, you are reminded of how important family is. Your parents or grandparents are growing older, and it’s a good reminder that everyone should have their affairs in order if something were to happen.

Here are some ways to bring up estate planning at the dinner table:

  1. Share the efforts you have made for estate planning. Estate planning is essential at any age. Share what you have done to plan for your estate throughout the year. Get others talking about what they should arrange as well.
  2. Discuss the tax breaks that are available through setting up a trust. If a loved one dies without estate planning, their assets can be subject to taxes when passed down to a beneficiary. Setting up a trust or giving an annual gift for beneficiaries can help to minimize taxes.
  3. Bring up the timeline for downsizing or selling a business. When do your parents or grandparents plan to downsize and sell their home? Do they own a business? What are the long-term plans for their assets? When you bring up these important questions, they may realize that it is time to meet with a lawyer and make plans.
  4. Remind everyone that an estate plan should be updated periodically. Estate planning is ongoing and should be updated with each life event. If there is a marriage, birth, death, or divorce in the family, you should revisit your estate plan. Also, if there are tax law changes, you should meet with an estate planning lawyer to be sure you are maximizing tax benefits with your estate plan.
  5. Ask the question flat-out. Do not be afraid to ask your loved one, do you have an estate plan?

When you bring up estate planning, it doesn’t mean you want to talk about death and life after your loved one passes away. Instead, it means that you want to be prepared for the unknown and protect their assets if something were to happen to them unexpectedly.

Shoup Legal is here to help. While you visit with your family each holiday season, make estate planning a regular conversation topic. It will save you time, money, and prevent frustration and family in-fighting in the future. Contact us at (951) 455-4114 or email us at [email protected] to discuss your unique situation today.