When you are creating a last will and testament, the process of making plans for your legacy can be stressful. You want to ensure that your will, and all of the components of your comprehensive estate plan, are going to be enforceable and will provide you with the ability to control what happens after you are gone. As you go through the estate planning process and prepare your estate plan documents, you may be grappling with one important question: how involved should your family be in the process?
Some people prefer to talk with their family members about their estate plan and ensure that their family understands what will happen when a death occurs. For others, however, there myriad reasons why you may want to keep your estate planning process private.
Unsworth LaPlante, PLLC can help you to determine which course of action is best based on the specifics of your situation. We can assist you in all aspects of estate planning and in making a last will and testament that will provide the protections and benefits you expect. Give us a call today to find out more.
Benefits of Talking to Family About Your Last Will and Testament
One of the biggest advantages of talking to family members about your last will and testament is that you can explain the decisions you are making. If you talk about what you plan to do in advance, you can often reduce the chance that your family members will contest your will after you are gone. Your loved ones will know what your goals were and they should hopefully respect that, even if your preferred estate plan is not exactly what they would have preferred.
Another benefit is your family can be involved in the process. Your loved ones can provide you with insight into which collectibles and family heirlooms they would love to inherit. You can also discuss issues with your family like who is willing to assume responsibility for care of your pets after you are gone and who is able to serve as executor of a will. Knowing this info in advance can help you to make a better estate plan.
Downsides to Discussing Your Last Will and Testament With Your Loved Ones
While there are lots of upsides to involving your family in estate planning, there are also some big drawbacks as well. One issue is that your family members may not be happy with your estate plan and they may begin to resent you and may even try to convince you to change it. You could find yourself fighting with beloved family members or even in a feud that ends your relationship.
Even if overt fighting does not happen, if family members are resentful of your proposed plans, they could start treating you differently and the whole nature of your relationship could be affected. You know your family best, and should make an assessment of whether this is likely to happen to you if you discuss your estate plan.
If you do decide to talk with your loved ones about your estate plan, you should make sure to do so tactfully and carefully. The AARP provides a comprehensive guide to talking to loved ones about your estate plan. This can give you some basic etiquette tips, but remember that the law protects you from being pressured if your family doesn’t respond in an appropriate way.
If your family tries to force you into changing your will under duress, the last will that you are coerced into making should not be legally valid. Let a Vermont wills and trusts lawyer guide you through protecting your autonomy and ability to control your own legacy by making an enforceable will that actually represents your interests.
Getting Help from A Vermont Wills and Trusts Lawyer
Unsworth LaPlante, PLLC can provide the assistance that you need to make sure your last will and testament is a true reflection of your wishes and to ensure your will is likely to be enforced during the probate process. We can also help you with all other aspects of the estate planning process, including making use of a diverse array of legal tools including wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and other methods of controlling your destiny.
To find out about making a will and what a last will can do for you, download our free estate planning worksheet. You can also give us a call at (802) 879-7133 or contact us online to speak with a member of our legal team and get personalized advice on your plan.