Discuss changes or concerns with a family member,
friend or health-care provider
Put it in a will
How do you want your possessionsto be divided when you die? If it’s notin a will, carrying out your wishescan be very hard. A well-preparedwill can be helpful to survivingfamily members, as many of the harddecisions have already been made.
Planning a will is an importantstep for everyone involved. If you’rewriting a will, you may want to makeyour wishes known before you die.You can sit down with your family asa group or discuss your wishes andplan one-on-one. If you’re a familymember trying to ensure a lovedone’s affairs are in order, you can askif their will is written or if it needs tobe updated.
Life changes with marriage,children, finances and propertyand your will may need to reflectthose changes. You may face someroadblocks when it comes to makinga will, but it is important to take thetime to talk through difficult choicesand make decisions that are right foryou and those you care about.
Make a plan
Estate planning varies widely, but ingeneral, it is a detailed plan of howto divide, transfer or spend yourmoney and property after your death.
An estate plan also outlines howyou wish your spouse, children andothers to be looked after followingyour death. It is also called wealthplanning, tax planning, estatemanagement and financial planning.
The foundation of estate planning is aproperly executed will.
You don’t have to be rich to plan
your estate, but it helps to understand
investing, budgeting and taxes and
how they apply to your finances.
Estate planning is also a valuable
exercise if you want to pass on a
special vacation property that’s
been in the family for years, see a
family business carry on, or ensure a
disabled child or dependent is cared
As in writing a will, goodcommunication begins by discussingyour wishes with someone who willhandle your affairs (an executor)if you can no longer manage themwhile you are living or after yourdeath.
Passing on the family business
If you’ve spent years building a
family business and want to see it
carry on, some serious discussions
are needed—it can take years to look
after all the details after you retire or
As you approach retirement,
you may want to stay on with the
company as an advisor, attending
regular meetings and being part of
major business decisions. This can
give you the confidence that you’re
leaving the family business in good
hands, be it family or new owners.
No matter what issue you talk over,scheduling time and being sensitiveare among the many things that canhelp, says Mann.
“Set up a time to discuss thingsrather than bringing it up out of theblue. Let everyone have time to thinkabout their wishes and concerns;encourage everyone to write downwhat they would like to say aheadof time. If you think there may betension, ask a third party to helpguide your conversations,” she says.