This holiday season, many people will be gathering together with family and friends to celebrate the close of another year.
While the festivities and good cheer are an important part of the proceedings, this is also a good time to sit down with loved ones and discuss some of the weightier concerns that need to be considered.
These gatherings can provide an opportune time to sit down and have a serious discussion about the estate planning process when the plates are cleared from the table and the washing up has been stacked away.
The difficulties faced by some families in getting together throughout the year makes the holiday season an ideal time to talk over the needs and concerns that revolve around making a will.
While the process does need to comply with certain legal guidelines in order to be valid, taking the time to gain input from loved ones can help to make sure that no one feels left out by the final document.
In this way a seasonal gathering can help to produce a property settlement agreement that suits the needs of everyone concerned - with the financial well-being of dependents being a primary concern.
Getting the extended family together in this fashion can be quite a difficult task - at any other time of the year they are likely to be busily involved with their career, looking after their own children or just are located too far away to make it a viable option.
A solid estate plan can be one of the best gifts you can give to your loved ones - providing them with both financial security in the future and the peace of mind that comes with understanding the reasoning behind your wishes.
It may not seem like the ideal topic for table conversation, but this time of year is increasingly becoming one of the most important when it comes to making plans that can have an effect on the whole family.
In the long run, the foresight shown during the festive season can help to ensure that loved ones are secure later on down the track - saving them the trouble and heartache that can be caused when relations are not otherwise able to agree on the best way forward.
Making your wishes known now - while the individuals concerned are physically present - can help to give them a firm understanding of how you would like to have your assets put to use and potentially avoid a lengthy estate dispute.