Doing your estate planning feels like a personal matter, but the truth is that it is going to massively impact the rest of your family, as well. They have a lot at stake here. For that reason, and many more, it’s often wise to talk to them as you do your estate planning, keeping them in the loop.
Remember that the most important thing for your heirs is that they all still have strong relationships with one another. Nothing else trumps that. If communication on your end can help them stay close for decades after you have passed away, you know you have done something right.
For instance, if the children expect to get certain assets from you, but your will is going to leave those assets to someone else, it can create an estate dispute based on those unmet expectations. Maybe you have a piece of artwork that two of your children love equally, but you can only leave it to one. Will the other feel resentment? Will they even dispute the will? Do they think that you promised them that piece of art at some point in the past?
All these issues can send children to court to dispute with one another about what should be done. Regardless of the outcome, those disputes can keep them from seeing eye-to-eye forever. If you instead choose to talk to them about the plan in advance, they can take up any questions with you, and they will have expectations that match the reality of that plan.
Don’t leave anything undone. Be sure you know how to get started with your estate planning.