During this time of season, families are gathering together and talking about sports, kids, families, work and other topics. While estate planning, wills, and death aren't exactly raucous discussion topics, it is a good opportunity to go over some topics with your families, whether it be your parents or your adult children. Communication over the plans that have been made or will be made is important in keeping a harmonious family. Take this occasion to be thankful for the family that you have and tell them that you care enough to make plans to make transitions as easy as possible. Whether it is a discussion over who and why you picked a particular person as a guardian for your children or why you are leaving a particular property to someone, you can potentially help avoid disputes at a later point.
Verbalizing your intentions and plans will reinforce the written documentation that you, hopefully, have in place. Without this communication, you just have words on paper that someone else can potentially interpret in different ways. "Why did dad do that to me? Was he still upset over that broken window from the third grade?" "I bet my sister made him write his will that way. Honey, what's the name of that lawyer?"
Hopefully you have a close and understanding family that never fights. Even so, isn't it better that you tell your loved-ones how much you care and what you've done? And if you don't have a "Cleaver-esque" family like the other 99% of families, setting the plan out makes even more sense. So when you get that lull in the conversation this season, take that first step. Chances are you'll be glad you did...and so will your family.