Facing Family Requests
Even if you have a relatively small estate, you might face some uncomfortable questions by your family regarding your estate planning. Sometimes, these concerns are well-founded; and sometimes, the questions are simply rude.
“Do you have a will?”
Generally, this is an acceptable question. An estate that passes into probate can cost thousands of dollars in fees; many of which can be avoided by simply having a valid will. If a family members asks this questions, they may simply want to know where you keep your will. It’s not outrageous for a close family member to want to know the name of your estate attorney and the location of your will.
“What’s Your Plan for Your Estate?”
Occasionally, this is an appropriate plan. Generally, only the closest family members have the right to ask such a person question. Because financial circumstances can change so dramatically over time, a will is not a promise, but simply a plan that may need adjusting when your estate is released to beneficiaries. Sometimes, adult children with significant assets of their own may want to make a contribution to the overall plan. For example, an adult child might want to buy the family summer home in an attempt to keep it in the family instead of seeing it sold after you pass.
“How Much Will I Get When You Die?”
While there are several ways to answer this question, the best answer might be with your own question. “Why?” “How much will I get?” is a rude question, but it might be based in a pressing need. Instead of being offended, you might delve deeper to find out if there is something you can do while you are alive. For example, you might be able to offset the cost of tuition for a grandchild or offer a gift for a down payment on a house.