Your family can be as involved in your estate planning as you’d like, depending on how close they are to you and how they figure into the plan. It’s important for those who are named in the documents to be made aware. If you want certain family members or friends to have power of attorney or be successor trustees or executors, discuss those roles with them so they understand what their duties would be. Some people do not feel equipped to deal with these tasks and will decline; it’s better to be aware of this ahead of time so you can find alternate options. You also need to choose alternate options for these roles in case someone predeceases you.

Equally important is making family members or loved ones aware of the estate plan’s existence. They will need to know where the documents are located, how to access them, and who to contact for help, such as the estate planning attorney who prepared the documents.

In the end, your estate plan is to not only set your own mind at ease but provide a smooth transition for your loved ones after your death. If keeping them in the loop while you make the estate plan will make that transition even easier, involve them.