How to talk to your spouse about estate planning

by | Feb 23, 2023 | Estate Planning

Estate planning often remains a topic that people avoid talking about. But spouses and families need to discuss this challenging and, sometimes, uncomfortable topic, which addresses your mortality along with the needs of the family.

In talking with your spouse, he or she needs to understand your intentions and objectives regarding your estate plan. It benefits you to be transparent during the discussion of this sensitive matter.

Clear communication and listening

Your goal is to show how your estate plan will protect your family and the assets within your estate. So how do you comfortably engage your spouse on the topic of estate planning? Here are some important pointers:

  • Select an opportune time to have this discussion, typically when things are calm in your household and personal lives.
  • Make your spouse understand the importance of this conversation. Perhaps provide an example of an estate that was mismanaged, and family members were kept in the dark.
  • Clear communication is essential to prevent any confusion and uncertainty. Make sure to answer every question that your spouse may have. You will enlighten your spouse in ways that may include providing him or her the foresight in taking advantage of certain tax strategies.
  • Listen to your spouse’s perspective. He or she may disagree on certain elements of your estate plan or may even have some beneficial insight and suggestions that could improve your estate plan.

Along the way, you may learn things. For example, perhaps you had your spouse in mind as the executor or trustee. But, during the estate planning discussion, you learn that your spouse may not be comfortable with those responsibilities.

A topic that requires attention

Discussing estate planning may make some people nervous and fidgety. However, this is a subject that needs attention in any household. Make sure you have this essential conversation with your spouse.


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