One of the most important things you can do after working hard your entire life is figuring out what will happen to your estate when you die. If you die without a will in place, New York intestacy laws would dictate how your assets are distributed. But what if you have a will? Should you discuss it with your heirs?
Talking about your own demise is, without a doubt, a difficult exercise. However, communicating your will to your heirs can be the stitch in time that saves nine. After all, most estate disputes arise when heirs are “unpleasantly surprised” by what is left behind for them.
Here are two reasons why you should consider discussing your will with your family.
To promote harmony
When a beneficiary decides to dispute your will, financial gain is not the only issue on the line. A will dispute can sow seeds of hostilities among loved ones that can last for years. You absolutely do not want to leave this kind of legacy behind.
Of course, speaking to your loved ones about your will may not automatically stop someone from raising issues. However, having this frank discussion can go a long way in promoting harmony and mitigating potential conflicts.
Adjust the will if need be
The decision to distribute your estate in a particular manner is entirely yours to make. No one can/should pressure you to make your will in a certain way. However, it isn’t unreasonable to listen to your heirs’ concerns and revise your will in a manner that is fair to everyone.
For instance, you might have your heart set on leaving your restaurant to John and the vacation home to Jane. But after explaining your will and listening to everyone’s opinion, you realize that John would rather have the vacation home while Jane is much more interested in taking over the family restaurant.
To some people, talking about death might be uncomfortable. However, letting your loved ones know what you are leaving behind for them is far better than leaving them in the dark.