[Written by Willful - the Canadian online Will platform that makes estate planning easy and affordable. Willful is the proud Canadian partner of Trust & Will.]
We get it – the topic of Wills and death can feel incredibly morbid. Estate planning is often the elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about, so it can feel like a subject we're stuck tackling alone.
What we often forget is that one of the most important reasons to make a Will is to protect the ones we love. From having important conversations to putting a formal plan in place, it only makes sense that you should include your close family members and friends along the way!
While estate planning is an important task you must do for yourself, you don’t have to tackle it solo. To prove it, here are 4 ways that estate planning can actually bring you closer to your loved ones.
1. Bond over the difficult/awkward conversations
They say hard times make for stronger bonds and we’re willing to bet hard conversations do the same thing. Besides, what can be more uncomfortable than talking about your own death (or the death of a loved one)?
Estate planning is full of important conversations. Whether it’s simply discussing the importance of a Will or consulting with a potential guardian for your child, these conversations are a crucial part of making sure you have a comprehensive plan in place.
Perhaps you never realized that your brother would be willing to take on the role of your Executor, or maybe you’ll learn that your best friend would like their ashes to be turned into a firework after they pass away. If you’re not sure where to begin, start with lighter open-ended questions such as:
What would you like your legacy to be?
What are some heirlooms you’d love to pass on?
Do you have a place where you keep your important documents?
These topics may not be the first ones you want to cover at family dinner, but they can certainly help bring you closer to your loved ones.
2. Inspire each other
Like those early morning workouts, you can benefit from motivation and inspiration around you. Having someone join you on your will-making journey is a great way to ensure you get the job done.
Not only Will having a loved one help keep you accountable, they can also help widen your estate planning horizons. Having someone to bounce ideas off of might even help you realize that you want to leave specific gifts to loved ones, or even charity.
On the other hand, you might be the one to inspire your friends and family to make their estate plans. If it’s something they’ve never thought of or prioritized, they’ll likely benefit from seeing you go through the process. If you’re passionate about a cause, this is also a great opportunity to remind loved ones about the importance of legacy giving.
3. Enjoy a trip down memory lane together
While you don’t need to create an inventory of everything you own for your will, you’ll likely want to take some time to consider anything of importance you want to leave behind. Talking about these details with loved ones can help you make sure you haven’t missed anything.
As you think about the gifts you want to leave, you’ll have the opportunity to revisit your fondest memories together. Perhaps the antique necklace you want to gift your sister reminds you of the time you purchased it together on vacation. It’s basically like experiencing the nostalgia sifting through old photo books - except you get to turn your memories into actionable items.
4. Show your loved ones you care - and put it in writing!
“Will you please be my Executor?” - The six little words everyone dreams of hearing.
Ok fine - that might be a bit of a stretch but naming an Executor is an act that shows how much you trust and value this person
Making your end of life plans is one of the best ways to protect your family and show you care. Your death Will inevitably be a stressful and sad time for your loved ones. Putting a formal plan in place helps alleviate the burden of having to make decisions on your behalf when you pass away. Consider it a blueprint that guides your family through your wishes – the ultimate parting gift.
Estate planning can be scary, but tackling it with loved ones can make the process significantly less daunting. But we know making a Will can be a sensitive topic, so if you prefer to work on their Will alone. That’s totally okay too!
At the end of the day, while your Will is a key document for your family - your final decisions are 100% up to you. Your estate documents are personal and it’s always important to take the time to review them carefully to ensure they reflect your wishes. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room to loop in some loved ones along the way.
Is there a question here we didn’t answer? Reach out to us today or chat with a live member support representative!