As one part of a married couple, perhaps you put off estate planning because you need your spouse in order for it to be effective. If that’s the case, a non-cooperative spouse who doesn’t want to think or talk about it can lead to gridlock. That doesn’t mean estate planning is something you should ignore entirely, though. It can place you in a difficult position to attempt to move forward with this process when your spouse simply doesn’t want to.
One of the best things things to keep in mind is the concept that continually reminding your spouse that the planning needs to be done probably won’t work. You might want to try the alternative route of showing them what can go wrong if you skip planning altogether. Unfortunately, there are plenty of stories of celebrity estate planning blunders, but you might also know family members struggling through probate after their loved one avoided planning, too. All of these can be used as a conversation opener.
If you already created documents decades or years ago and this is one of the reasons your spouse doesn’t want to get on board, use this as a chance to sit down and walk through how that estate planning scenario would work out. Under your current documents, what would happened to your minor children? Your assets? This may help trigger your spouse to reopen the conversation if it turns out that your previous plans just don’t measure up.
Finally, if you’re unable to spur action with these steps, it might be time to do as much as you can on your own. Start with an inventory of all the assets and go from there. A meeting with an estate planning lawyer in Massachusetts can help you figure out what’s necessary moving forward