You can certainly do your estate planning on your own, but it’s often not advisable. It’s usually considered much better to talk with your family during this process. This is especially true if you have adult children and they’re going to be heavily involved.
One thing that you want to talk to them about is what to do with family heirlooms. These are items that may or may not have any real value. But they have a lot of sentimental value, so they can be very important to your heirs. Talking to your children as you make the plan can help you avoid complications.
How does this help?
The first way that this helps is because the children definitely understand what you want. You make sure that they know where you’re coming from, why you made the decisions that you did and things of this nature. There is no confusion, such as two people saying that you promised them both the same thing. Everyone’s on the same page, and that makes asset distribution go smoothly.
Another reason to talk to them is so they can bring these concerns up in advance. You may have assumed that one heir would want a certain item, only to find that they’re not interested in it at all. You may also find that another heir believes they should get it, or even that two people were hoping to ask for the same item. These sorts of issues are easy to tackle when you have a family meeting, and you can all discuss what a good solution will look like. You can then make that a permanent part of your estate plan.
As you can see, creating a good plan often takes the whole family. Make sure you also know what legal steps you’ll need to take.