Discussing your estate plan with heirs can be a very difficult conversation to have, but no matter how uncomfortable it may be, it can be quite effective in reducing potential conflicts among family members and make sure your heirs understand the choices you have made. If your children will not receive equal amounts of inheritance, it would be helpful to explain why. Maybe you previously helped one child buy a house, so the other is receiving a larger percentage of your estate. Maybe one child will require medical care, so you wish to make sure they are taken care of into the future.


Talking about these things with beneficiaries is the caring thing to do. It will ensure that there are no hard feelings after you are gone and no longer able to explain your choices. It will also prevent friction among family members.

If you find this conversation too difficult or distressing, you may want to leave a personal note with your estate planning documents explaining the reasons for the distribution of your estate. In addition, it is extremely helpful to specify where your important documents are located, such as tax returns, investment and banking information, property deeds and titles, insurance policies, and loan documents.

Your family will no doubt be devastated when you are no longer with them, but having this difficult conversation now will give them peace of mind into the future.