Thanksgiving is one of America’s most beloved holidays–the cranberry sauce, the turkey, the pies, the rare reunion with family members you love and miss. One of the things that makes Thanksgiving so enjoyable is the planning. Thanksgiving gatherings generally don’t come together on their own. It takes family members deciding in advance who will roast the turkey, who will prepare the desserts, who will bring the beverages, etc.
Thanksgiving is just one example of how important it is to plan ahead in order to ensure success. Estate planning is no different. Planning your estate is important to make sure your assets are handled the way you would want them to be handled in any situation.
Coincidentally, Thanksgiving dinner provides a perfect opportunity for families to discuss their estate planning goals while everyone is together under the same roof. Many adults unfortunately delay having a conversation about estate planning with their families for many reasons. However, there are many benefits of having a conversation on estate planning with your family during holidays such as Thanksgiving.
Having the conversation provides an opportunity to form an understanding between you and your family on your goals and wishes for your assets and affairs. It also helps to reduce any confusion that there may be between you and your family, which may reduce the chances of disputes forming later down the road. Decisions don’t necessarily have to be made in the meeting. Sometimes it enough to simply achieve an understanding between you and your family on certain matters.
Many business owners and wealthy families, for example, use major holidays such as Thanksgiving to discuss business and philanthropy. If there’s a family business, family members may want to use that meeting to update the rest of the family on business performance or the succession plan for that business.
Having a conversation on estate planning during the Thanksgiving holiday is a great start to ensure a successful estate plan. That conversation should, however, transition to the office of a trusted adviser who can answer any questions or concerns you may have about your estate, as well as assist you with preparing a secure estate plan.