A common myth exists that after a person passes away his or her relatives gather in an attorney’s conference room for a formal reading of the will. It rarely happens because everyone named in a will is sent a copy. However, that copy of the will received in the mail should not be the first time that relatives learn the contents of a will.
I think most people would agree that talking to loved ones about death and dying is a delicate matter. People do not even want to discuss anything related to their own deaths, including discussing the contents of their estate plans. Unfortunately, as reported by Market Watch,in an article titled “Estate: Planning: It’s never too early to start,” not communicating your estate plan often leads to problems later on.
The biggest problem, on the other hand, is that when families do not know what to do, they often fight. If your family does not know what you want them to do, each family member may have his or her own ideas about what you would want.
Sometimes, these fights end up in court.
There is another benefit to discussing estate planning with your family. It often leads to better problem solving in other areas, such as elder care.
As the original article says, experts suggest that you should begin talking to your children about your estate plan when the children are in their 20s. They are old enough to know at that point. If your children are already older, however, talk to them as soon as you can.
You can never talk to your family about your estate plan too soon. However, if you wait too long, it will be too late.
Reference: Market Watch (October 23, 2014) “Estate Planning: It’s never too early to start“