One of the reasons that individuals become embroiled in heated disputes in which they contest wills or trusts after a loved one dies boils down to poor communication. So, many of these conflicts could be avoided if testators, or those drafting their wills, sat down with their family members and discussed things instead of leaving things to chance. The holiday season is a perfect time for doing this.
One of the worst times that families can sit down to discuss financial matters is when they’re grieving the loss of a loved one. It’s during these times that emotions are frayed and that individuals are most apt to make irrational decisions.
It can be helpful for family members to ask their more elderly members to do an autobiographical sketch during the holidays. This can allow other family members to better understand what they value most and about any charitable contributions that they’d like to see made in their honor upon their passing. Such discussions can also shed light on why an individual may ultimately choose to leave behind to one heir or entity versus another.
Another great benefit of having financial discussions over the holidays is that families are generally all together. It can be a great time of the year for a testator to talk to potential executors of their estate, to discuss what assets that they may have to pass down and who might want them. Playing games such as pulling a name out of a hat to decide who gets what may be a good option when more than one person wants the same thing.
Having financial discussions such as what is involved in estate planning is a good thing to do at this time of the year in which family members are making announcements about new babies or engagements. These discussions can encourage everyone to pay more attention to financial matters as they enter these new chapters in their lives. An attorney in Frederick can help you devise a plan that will work for you and your Maryland family in the future this holiday season.