Estate Planning Attorney in Naperville Encourages Family Discussions

discussion, Naperville estate planning lawyerDo you currently have a signed and executed will prepared in the event that something tragic and unexpected happens to you? If so, you are already in a better position than over half of all American adults. Your estate planning work, however, may not be done just yet.

As an experienced estate planning attorney, I know that thinking about your own mortality is never easy, and estate planning can be complex. This leads many people to put off creating wills, trusts, and other instruments—often until it is too late. Troublingly, the fear and consternation about estate planning can also cause some individuals to avoid the topic with their children and other family members. This can lead to serious misunderstandings down the road, even for those who have an estate plan in place.

Preparedness Study

Last summer, Fidelity Investments conducted a survey that examined how families communicate about their finances, health, and long-term planning choices. The online study included adults aged 55 and older and their adult children aged 25 and older. Its findings suggest that parents and adult children are often on very different pages regarding money, personal care, and estate planning, and the issues begin with communication.

On the topic of estate planning, nearly 70 percent of parents reported that they have had detailed discussions about wills, trusts, and other concerns with their children. Less than half of children—48 percent—remember such conversations taking place. In addition, 80 percent of parents think their children know where to find important estate planning paperwork, but only about 67 percent of children say they know where to look.

Have the Conversations

Fidelity’s study found a similar disconnect on a wide variety of other topics, including estate execution, long-term caregiving, and considerations for retirement. It also found that among parents and children who have taken the time to communicate regarding such issues, nearly all—95 and 93 percent, respectively—report greater peace of mind as a result.

So what should you do? The answer is simple enough in words, but more difficult to put into action. Regardless of whether your estate plan is fully prepared, you can begin talking with your family about the future. It is important to facilitate a two-way conversation, as you have things to tell your loved ones and they will probably have input for you. Ask detailed questions and allow everyone participating to do the same. These discussions can have an impact on your decisions about your estate plan and the role that each of your family members may take on down the road.

Contact an Attorney

As you and your family take steps toward preparing for the future, an experienced Naperville estate planning attorney can provide valuable guidance. Contact The Gierach Law Firm to discuss your available options to get the help you need. Call 630-756-1160 for a confidential consultation today.



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