6 ways to talk about estate planning with your partner

6 Ways to Talk to Your Partner about Estate Planning

Dec-08 2023

Conversations about estate planning may not be the most romantic, but they are undeniably essential for securing your shared financial future with your partner. Having these discussions is a great way to make sure you feel confident about the choices you are making. While your partner may be the most important person in your estate plan, we understand that bringing up the topic may feel slightly uncomfortable. To help make this conversation a smooth one, we've put together a list of ways to get it started. Please consider the following as guidelines to help you dive into the conversation.

1. Bring it up during your next finance chat

Think about the important conversations you and your partner often have. These probably include your separate and joint finances. While you may not want to say “Honey, who would you like as your will’s executor” when chatting through the budget for your next vacation, it’s a completely appropriate topic to bring up when discussing your mortgage, for instance. Here are some things you might say to kick off the conversation: 

  • “Since we’re talking money, who do we want to leave our bank accounts to?”

  • “Who should handle our online accounts when we’re gone?”

  • “What do you think about protecting our house in a Trust?” 

2. Frame it as securing your legacies together

You and your partner have a whole life you’ve built together and it’s natural to want to preserve that and pass it down to the right people. You may approach the conversation by talking about how much you care about what you have together: 

  • “I’m proud of what we have built and want to make sure we pass it on the right way.”

  • “How do we ensure our memories and treasured belongings are protected?”

3. Make it about the kids

If you and your partner have children, you'll want them to be cared for even if you're no longer here to do it yourself. Talking about estate planning in relation to your children is a great way to break the ice. Here are some things you might say: 

  • “If anything happens to us, I want to make sure the kids are taken care of.”

  • “Who should we name as guardians for our children?”

  • “Are there any family heirlooms you’d like the kids to have?”

4. Weave it into a conversation about your parents and your inheritance

Ever find yourself wondering what you’ll receive from your inheritance? This is a great segue to discuss what you’d like to leave those you love, with your partner: 

  • “What are your parents going to leave you?”

  • “What do you think we should leave to each of our family members and/or children?” 

5. Express concern for your family’s security 

We all want our loved ones to be happy, healthy, and safe. Creating a clear estate plan that includes all of them is a great way to get peace of mind, knowing you’ve set everything up for them to thrive. Bringing this up in conversation may be your way into a larger estate planning talk:

  • “Can we consider creating an estate plan to make sure our assets and loved ones are safe?” 

6. Estate Planning as a selfless act 

Planning for the future isn’t just about you, it’s also about the people you care about. Think about it as giving them a roadmap to best take care of you and your possessions when you no longer can. You may want to consider your estate, your health, your online life, and more. Discussing this with your partner may be a great way to introduce the conversation: 

  • “I want to make sure you and our loved ones know my preferences so you’ll know what to do should anything happen to me.” 

  • “What would you like me to do if you get into an accident?” 

We hope these suggestions help you address estate planning with your partner. Just like for your relationship in general, communication can be the key to handling estate planning considerations. Now that you’re thinking about your decisions, take the time to record them by starting your estate plan, here