Give your family the gift of telling them what you have planned for them.
In many families, there is an uncomfortable silence when the subjects of death and money come up. According to Eileen and Jon Gallo, authors of Silver Spoon Kids: How Successful Parents Raise Responsible Children (McGraw-Hill, 2001), most adult children have no idea of their parents' net worth, let alone the details of their estate plan. All too often, "when kids work up the courage to ask their parents for specifics, they often get slapped down."
Estate planning aims at the transfer of wealth from one generation to another in a way which minimizes taxes and maximizes economic gain. It usually involves parents making gifts to their children, grandchildren, or charities. The problem is that while many clients spend hours with attorneys, accountants, and financial advisors crafting an estate plan, they spend no time with their intended beneficiaries explaining what they have done and why. After mom and dad are gone, the family acrimony begins - brother sues brother and sisters stop talking to one another for years.