You might want to keep the details of your estate plan to yourself. Many people do.
Yet it is typically best to share at least some details with your family. Here are three reasons why:
The weeks following your death will be challenging for those closest to you. They do not need additional stressors that you could avoid by talking about your plan now. Tell them where to find the necessary information, who to contact, and who you are naming to take charge.
Imagine how upsetting it would be to see your loved ones fighting over your money. Explaining your choices will reduce the chance of conflict between them. Keeping the fact you are disinheriting someone or leaving them much less than expected as a surprise could lead to them challenging your will. That will delay the delivery of your assets into the hands of those you favor.
Remember, your estate plan is not only about leaving people things. You should also use it to specify your healthcare wishes and funeral wishes. Some of your family might not agree with your choices and try to make others feel bad for turning off your life support machine or scattering your ashes rather than keeping them in an urn on the sideboard for prosperity. Explaining your preferences now allows you to reinforce your choices with doubters.
The early discussion also allows you to get legal advice regarding any questions your family raises, ensuring your estate plan works as well as possible.