Do not keep an estate plan secret

| May 29, 2018 | Firm News

Movies and television shows have popularized the myth that last wills and testaments remain hidden from family members and loved ones until the individual passes away. The  reading of the will trope does not usually happen in real life. Instead, most attorneys will simply send a copy of the will to everyone affected by it.  

Generally, you should not surprise your heirs with the contents of  your  will. There are no benefits to doing this, and you can prevent a lot of family turmoil after your death if everyone knows well in advance what they will receive. Keeping everyone in the know can prevent disputes and family heartache during an already difficult time.  

It gives everyone a chance to voice their opinions

Ultimately, you should write your will in a manner you  feel is best. However, by keeping everyone on the same page, you can receive different viewpoints. Perhaps you think it would be best to leave an equal amount of money to your children. However, one child is well off financially while the other struggles. The wealthier child may tell you that it is all right if you leave more money to the other beneficiary because it will mean more.  

There is no reason for it to remain secret  

Talking about money is often taboo in American culture. Combined with the fact that discussing a will means discussing an inevitable death only makes the conversation more uncomfortable. As a result, many people avoid bringing up the contents of an estate plan because they do not want  an awkward discussion. It may not be the most fun thing to do, but it is essential. The conversation may be uncomfortable now, especially if there are aspects of the will certain beneficiaries do not like, but it is better to have a little discomfort now than potentially a lot later when a disagreement erupts after you have passed away.