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How to Talk to Your Family About Your Will


Creating a will is a great step in planning for the future and making sure all family members are taken care of once you are no longer here. However, a will isn’t something that should be discovered after the death, and talking about it in advance can help save family fights. It could even prevent a person from contesting the will, which may mean your final wishes won’t be granted. While it’s important to discuss your will with your family in advance though, few people know how to approach this conversation. Below are a few tips that will help.

Create a Rough Draft

As you start to have a conversation about your will, your family members may ask questions and you may start to lose your train of thought. You may become so focused on what everyone else wants that you forget about you want, which is the entire point of a will. Create a rough draft so you can keep the conversation on track. If you’re going to include any other documents in your estate plan, such as a living will, write a rough draft of this to discuss as well.

Set a Time to Talk

If you have a large family that is included in your will, or you have adult children that no longer live with you, you’ll likely need to set aside a time to talk. Let everyone know when you’d like to meet and also tell them why you want to meet with everyone. Telling everyone why you’ve all gathered once they arrive is a real mood killer. It’s better if everyone is aware of the subject of conversation beforehand.

Let Everyone Know Your Goals

Telling everyone the plan for your legacy will help start the conversation on a much better foot than simply diving into the division of assets. Tell them your point of view so they’ll have an idea of what to expect once you get into the nitty gritty details.


Having a conversation about your will is just that. It’s a conversation, not you simply telling your family members what they can expect in the future. People will likely have opinions and suggestions about your will and, while you don’t have to follow these, you should at least take them into consideration. Your family may point out a family member that you haven’t included, or someone may want to keep an heirloom that’s particularly sentimental to them. Listen to everyone, and let them all know that you’ll think about what they’ve said.

Remain Tactful

Your own personal feelings about particular people may play a part in how you create your will, but now is not the time to talk about those feelings. Instead, focus on the needs of your family members and try to explain that you intend for your will to help with some of those needs.

Need Help With Your Will? Call Our Pennsylvania Estate Planning Lawyers

If you need help with your estate plan, an experienced Scranton estate planning, probate & trust administration lawyer can provide it. At Haggerty, Hinton & Cosgrove, LLP, we will not only ensure your estate plan includes all of your final wishes, but also help with the little details, such as knowing how to talk to your family about it. Call us today at (570) 354-9731 and start planning for tomorrow.


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