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How To Discuss Estate Planning Issues With Your Family in Alexandria

People frequently hesitate when it comes to discussing estate planning issues with members of their family.  However, everyone in the family is affected by proper planning – or its lack.  Although initiating this type of conversation might feel uncomfortable to you, it is crucial that these honest discussions take place and that any necessary action will be taken.   

One way of bringing up the subject is mentioning a situation that has occurred to someone you know or that you saw in the news. Then suggest that it could be useful for your family to have a conversation before a problem arises. Frequently a good incentive can be wanting to avoid having the same challenges that other families have faced because the proper planning wasn’t done or wanting to be smart like other people who did plan ahead.    

Setting an enthusiastic example can be another good approach.  If you have updated or completed your estate plan recently, share your knowledge and accomplishment.  

Some individuals will find it easier to begin planning for the issue of incapacity. This subject is a “softer” one than death is, and the concern here is more about an individual’s care instead of inheritance. Anyone who is over 18 years old in Alexandria should, at a minimum, have documents giving someone else the legal authority for making medical decisions and conducting their business if they become unable to do it on their own.  

For families in Alexandria with young children, determining who will raise them should anything happen to both of the parents is a necessary, if difficult, question to answer. If a proper plan is not in place, then a judge will end up appointing someone without knowing what the wishes of the parents were, and the family might end up spending a lot of money and time in court.  

Discussing estate planning matters isn’t something we should be afraid to talk with one another.  We all want to provide for our families and protect them from unnecessary expenses and complications. That is why it is crucial for all family members to know that a plan is placed (or get one put into place), have a good idea of how the plan works, who is responsible for performing certain duties, and where valuable information can be found.

If you haven’t had this discussion yet with your family members, gather up the necessary courage and get it done before a problem arises.

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Misha Gill is an Alexandria estate planning attorney for his firm, Speedwell Law, PLLC. If you would like assistance in setting up your own will, living trust, and other estate planning documents, Misha can be reached at (703) 553-2577 or mgill@speedwelllaw.com.

This post, including any of its contents or links, is not intended to provide you with legal advice. It provides personal perspectives on legal news and developments. Reading this post, leaving a comment, or communicating with its author by email or over the Internet does not create any attorney-client relationship.