“Son, we have decided that your brother is going to lead our family company.”
Those of us who are “Minnesota nice” have a difficult time initiating difficult conversations, especially with family. For example, have you and your spouse had conversations about his or her wishes to remarry if you die? (without naming names, of course). According to a study entitled, “The Better Than Expected Consequences of Asking Sensitive Questions,” those who fail to initiate difficult conversations are missing out on important benefits. According to the authors, “individuals make a potentially costly mistake when they avoid asking sensitive questions, as they overestimate the interpersonal costs of asking sensitive questions.” While we often avoid difficult topics for fear of offending others, we miss out on the opportunity to use the difficult topics to deepen our relationships.
In this month’s update, I share a few thoughts as to how clients might communicate difficult estate planning topics with their family.