Estate Planning Chats: Making the Most of Holiday Gatherings

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Thanksgiving: A Season for Family, Gratitude, Pie and… Estate Planning?

Yes, you read that right. While Thanksgiving is synonymous with turkey and gratitude, it can also be an ideal time to broach the often-dodged topic of estate planning. When families gather, it creates a rare opportunity for open, face-to-face conversations, in a relaxed, supportive setting.

Whether you are the parent talking to your adult children, or the adult “child” talking to your own parents or grandparents, it’s crucial to have these conversations. (Reminder: everyone over the age of 18 needs some form of an estate plan.)

Let’s dive into how you can have these conversations gracefully.

1. Pick the Perfect Moment

  • Timing is Key: Post-turkey, pre-pie might be the sweet spot. Everyone is relaxed but not yet in the throes of a food coma.
  • Respect the Mood: Keep it in tune with the day’s spirit. A light touch is often best in these scenarios.

2. Ease Into It

  • Begin with Gratitude: Share what you’re all thankful for. It’s a gentle lead-in to discussing how to protect and preserve these blessings.
  • Personal Touch: If you’ve been down the estate planning road yourself, share a bit. It makes it real and less daunting.

3. Highlight the Upsides

  • Benefits Front and Center: Emphasize that estate planning is an act of love; it’s really about peace of mind and caring for loved ones.
  • Real Examples Help:
    •  “Consider our neighbor, Mr. Jones. His living trust saved his family a lot of stress, when he passed.”
    • “Or the Smiths, who didn’t plan ahead. It was tough watching them struggle to make decisions during an already hard time. Having to go to court to get the house to the family took a lot of time and the house had to be sold just to pay the probate fees!”

4. Light but Sincere

  • Keep it Simple: Speak in plain English, not legalese. Talk about who’ll cherish grandma’s recipes, not just asset distribution or “who will inherit intangible assets?”.
  • Acknowledge the Awkward: It’s okay to say this isn’t typical holiday chit-chat, but it’s a conversation that comes from caring, and it’s important as well as ultimately beneficial.

5. Know When to Step Back

  • Read the Room: If it’s not the right time, that’s okay. Plant the seed and offer to discuss it later.
  • Resource Ready: Mention that you’re happy to share more information or help find resources. (Hint: Thatcher | Law’s website has great information 😉 !

6. Follow-Up

  • Post-Holiday Check-In: If there’s interest, circle back later with an email or call. Keeping the conversation going is key.

Conclusion: A New Family Tradition?

Estate planning talks during Thanksgiving can become a valuable new family tradition. It’s about securing the future and honoring today’s joys. So, as you pass the pumpkin pie, share what you’re thankful for, and maybe, just maybe, talk about the future. After all, estate planning is another way of saying “I care.”

Ready to Talk More?

If these discussions spark interest in learning more about estate planning, remember, professional advice is key. At Thatcher | Law, we’re here to guide you through the process with compassion and expertise. Explore our website for more info.

👉 When you are ready to craft your legacy, reach out to us by clicking one of the links below to schedule an appointment, send us a message or give us a call to learn more. Let’s embark on this journey together.