When individuals begin to contemplate decisions that will affect the end of their lives, it can be extremely beneficial for family members to become involved in the decision-making process. Though estate planning decisions are ultimately quite personal, how assets are treated in one’s will and how long-term care and healthcare directives are constructed ultimately affect more than just the individual creating his or her plan. By involving family members in certain areas of the estate planning process, people directly affected by these decisions can help to inform them.
Some individuals might worry that by involving their children or grandchildren in the estate planning process that they are burdening their time or worrying them unnecessarily. On the contrary, consulting family members before decisions are made with finality may ultimately ease their worry about the process. Transparency and cooperation can be critical tools in creating the best individual estate plan possible for everyone affected.
In addition, younger loved ones can often help to advocate for an older loved one’s best interests while estate plans are being constructed. Especially if the individual constructing his or her wishes is ill, suffers from any form of dementia or is otherwise overwhelmed by the process, younger family members can help to ensure that what has been important to their loved one remains respected and protected.
Before consulting an experienced estate planning attorney about end of life care and asset division, please consider involving your family members in this process. If they are loving and supportive individuals, they may help you to best protect your interests and in turn you may help to best protect theirs by doing so.
Source: LifeHealthPro, “Making estate planning a family affair,” David Port, June 3, 2013