Monday 7 February 2022

6 Reasons Why it's Important to Discuss Your Will with Family

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Your will is something that should always be talked about before you die, but this may not be the easiest conversation. In this article, we explore six reasons why it’s important to discuss your will with family.


The subject of your will rarely makes for comfortable conversation, despite the fact that it is an incredibly important topic.


Of course, you may have all your ducks in a row in terms of having written your will and placing a copy with your probate solicitors. That said, it’s also a really good idea to share the contents of your will with your beneficiaries. This way, you can explain your intentions, and make it known this is what you wish.


There are plenty of other reasons why this is an important conversation to have. So, in this article, we’ll provide you with six reasons to persuade you…


6 Reasons to Discuss Your Will with Your Family

1.     Confirming you are of sound mind


The first, and possibly most important, reason for discussing your will with your family is to let them know that you have in fact created a will that informs your family of details of your last wishes. 


This is important as, should you fall victim to a degenerative disease such as dementia, there may come a time when you are no longer able to make important decisions for yourself.  The fact that a will is in place will provide reassurance for your family that your wishes have been put in writing.


2.     Discussing Funeral Matters


If you’re healthy and happy, thinking about your funeral may seem morbid or depressing, but it’s also really important. By detailing what you want during your funeral in your will, and discussing this with your family, you can help to remove the uncertainty which often causes families a great deal of distress after the death of a loved one.  


Providing your funeral wishes in terms of the type of service, music and readings can significantly help to take the stress out of the process for your loved ones. It will also help your family with closure knowing they’ve given a goodbye you deserved.

3.     Ensuring there are no surprises


A very real reason for ‘having the talk’ is to ensure that there are no nasty surprises on the reading of your will. It is, of course, entirely up to you who you leave your assets to, but your family may not always see it that way.


For example, if your sister is expecting to be bequeathed your heirloom bracelet, it may cause shock and resentment if she discovers that you’ve left it to a distant cousin on the reading of the will. Having the conversation allows you to explain your reasons for making certain bequests and to address any concerns or questions that your family may have about your decisions.

4.     Being sure your family know of your intentions


While your will is a legal document which should always be honoured, discussing the contents with your family will reinforce the fact that these are your wishes. This will help to eliminate any doubt about your intentions once the time arrives.


5.     Confirming any last requests from family


When putting your will together, you will no doubt have tried to make sure that all of your loved ones have been remembered and that your bequests are fair. However, you may not have factored in your loved ones’ emotional attachment to particular items. 


For example, a family member may have a particular desire to have a certain scarf or piece of jewellery, as that item reminds them of happy times that you have spent together. A family conversation is a good time to allow them to mention anything that they would particularly like, so this can be amended in your will if necessary.

6.     Discussing what to do with inheritance


If you’re including large assets in your will, such as a house or expensive car, it’s a good idea to let beneficiaries know about this in advance. In many cases, a property will be passed to your offspring. If you have more than one child, this can get a little complicated.


By having the conversation in advance, you allow your children, or whomever, to discuss what will happen once they inherit the property. 


For example, it may be that one child still lives with you at the property, so decisions about what will happen to their living situation can be quite complex and can quickly turn ugly if left without detailed discussions. Giving beneficiaries advance notice allows them to iron out the details ahead of time so that they can avoid having to do so whilst also dealing with their grief.

Discussing Your Will Doesn’t Have to be Awkward…


You may find that your family members, particularly your children, are understandably reluctant to discuss the contents of your will. So, it’s best to approach the subject gently. Avoid mentioning your death and, instead, focus on your legacy and what you want for those who will remain.


Choose a time and a place where everybody feels relaxed, and where you won’t be disturbed, to avoid the subject getting off track. Explain to your family your reasons for wanting to discuss your will and make it clear that you’re open to feedback. Do your best to answer any questions about your bequests, while remaining firm if you don’t intend to change your mind.


Finally, try to make sure that everybody gets a chance to speak and, if necessary, appoint an independent party to act as moderator should things become heated. Your will is one of the most important documents you will ever create and is designed to ensure that your wishes and your legacy remain in place long after you’ve departed. Letting your family know where they stand can only help to smooth the process at what will no doubt be an extremely difficult time.


Please be advised that this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for advice from a trained legal professional. Be sure to consult a legal professional if you’re seeking advice about writing a will. We are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information on this site.


Image credit:


·     Priscilla Du Preez -

·     Carolyna Booth -



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