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During the holiday season, we often look around with feelings of gratitude and pride. You’re thankful to be where you are and who you’re with. You’ve even planned ahead for the future of your loved ones gathered around you. And you know what? It’s important to tell them. 

You want your family to know that you have a plan.

It’s not an easy conversation, but it’s an important one. As a provider, you are expected to have a plan for the future. It’s in your power now to plan for the legacy you want to leave behind.

There are tools to help you plan. A life insurance plan and a will are two of the most basic, and necessary, financial tools to have.

Creating powers of attorney to plan for the unexpected is also something to consider. For financial matters that relate to business ownership, a large estate or inheritances, working with a financial advisor is recommended due to potentially complex tax scenarios.

There are also the personal and emotional sides to consider when discussing your legacy. Talk to your family about why you want certain things to happen after you die. It’s best not to have any surprises in your will.

For example, if you are leaving a sum of money to a charity that could come as a surprise to your family, it’s a good idea to discuss this before you pass away. Or, if you plan on leaving different amounts of money to different children, it’s helpful to explain your reasoning behind your decisions to avoid family conflicts in the future. The more clear you can be about what you want the better.

Now may also be a good time to talk about any family traditions or heirlooms that you want to pass on to future generations.

Having a discussion about your family legacy in person is meaningful.

When you have everyone together in person, you have their undivided attention and can have an open and honest conversation without leaving someone out. Trying to discuss this serious topic over the phone can result in someone hearing the wrong information or perhaps not even listening.

Sit down with everyone, record notes (or record the conversation) and get it all out in the open. If you have wishes written down, make copies and give to everyone involved.

Let everyone know ahead of time that you will be sitting down and talking about your wishes. Bringing up how you’d like your life insurance death benefit handled while eating pumpkin pie may not go over so well. If people know ahead of time, you can plan accordingly and not rush through the conversation of discussing family legacy.

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The holidays are a joyous time and the conversation doesn’t have to be depressing.

You are in charge of setting the tone. Talking about death can evoke emotion, but reminding your family that discussing life insurance and discussing family legacy isn’t about death, it’s about protecting the ones you love. 

Talking about our wants and wishes while we are alive and healthy will allow for less stress in the long run. It can be emotional turmoil for families who have loved ones die prior to having these discussions.

After you’ve had this tough conversation about discussing family legacy, it will make it easier to revisit in the future. Your wishes may change over time. If you make changes to your will, it’s wise to share it with your loved ones so they understand the changes weren’t made in error and are truly what you wanted. Ultimately, you will have peace of mind knowing that your wishes and legacy are in order.

If you don’t have a plan in place just yet, now might be the time to think about it. Contact the team at Quotacy if you are concerned about your life insurance needs. You can start by running a term life quote to see cost estimates. You aren’t required to enter any personal contact information until you are ready to apply.

Watch the Talking to Family About Life Insurance Video

About the writer

Headshot of Jeanna Simonson, Life Insurance Marketing Content and Social Media at Quotacy, Inc. in Minneapolis. Holiday gift ideas.

Jeanna Simonson

Marketing Content and Social Media

Jeanna has a passion for letting her creativity shine. At Quotacy she manages social media, is a co-host of Quotacy's Q&A Friday YouTube channel, and enjoys writing here and there. When she's not at the office, you can find her hanging with her husband and rescue animals, brunching with girlfriends, or loving up on her nieces and nephews. Connect with her on LinkedIn.