Talking About Your WillTalking about your will is a conversation that many people put off and delay. Even though most couples know they need a will, there are a variety of reasons they never actually do anything about it. One of the biggest reasons? You actually have to talk to your spouse about it. People think it’s a scary conversation. It’s hard to think about what happens after your death. There are plenty of reasons people come up with to avoid the conversation. But, talking about your will doesn’t have to be scary.

It’s Not A Scary Conversation

If you try to Google how to have a discussion with your spouse, you will find post after post about having “difficult” conversations. Are you going through a divorce? Is there some type of “must-have” conversation you have been putting off? The results on the web are scary.

But talking about your will doesn’t have to be a scary conversation! It’s likely that you and your partner are on the same page. You probably both have the same idea of where to leave your money. If you have kids, you both probably have the same person in mind to take care of your kids. If you want to donate to charities, you likely have similar types of charities who could benefit.

Often when I meet with couples, they have a conversation for the first time in my office. Even though they are almost always on the same page across the board, they’ve never sat down to have that conversation themselves at home. Once we get going. we can have a framework for a will hammered out in mere minutes.

Do you have children?

If you have children, you will want to have a plan for what happens when you both are gone. Usually, there are one or two adults in the children’s lives who would be a good choice to take care of them. Sometimes, that person isn’t good with money and you’ll want to have someone else manage the children’s money for them. Other times, it makes more sense for one person to handle it all. By starting the conversation, you can usually get to a shortlist. The next step? Talk to those people and see if they would be willing to take care of the kids. After that, you may naturally have one or two people to be designated in your will.

Do you have pets?

What about that cute puppy that you and your partner just adopted? He’s not a human, but he still feels like your child! You can provide for the puppy in your will in most states, going so far as creating a full pet trust if that’s what you think is best, or simply making sure that the puppy is given to a good friend so that he can continue to have a good life. Perhaps your pup would prefer not to be placed in a house with a lot of cats or other dogs, so a will can make sure he goes to the right place.

Do you have family heirlooms?

You don’t need a will to make sure your family heirlooms stay in the family, but if you are doing a will, it often makes sense to have a provision to divide up family heirlooms. Maybe one of your sons really wants your old baseball glove? Or your daughter really wants your stamp collection? And your brother has been miffed for years that you got grandma’s silver. By making a personal property provision in your will, you can make sure these items get distributed to the right person.

There are many other things to discuss with your partner or spouse when you are talking about your will, but these are just a few things to consider as you get that discussion started…

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Next Steps

If you and your spouse have already talked about your will, or if you need a third party to help that discussion get started and would like to know a little more about financial planning and estate planning, you can click here for a free guide. If you’re ready to get started, call my office to set up a Legal Strategy Session and we can discuss the best option for your situation – (877) AMAYERS.

Andrew Ayers
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I work with business and estate planning clients to craft legal solutions to protect their legacies.
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