When You Can’t Agree on an Estate Plan

June 15, 2023
Estate Plan Difficulty

Finding Common Ground with Your Spouse


What a wonderful miracle marriage is! God brings two different people – with unique personalities, experiences and opinions – and binds them together in a beautiful, holy union.


Of course, unity doesn’t come without its challenges – and this is especially true when creating a will or trust. If will planning is a hot-button conversation for you and your spouse, you’re in good company!


Here are five steps to help you move past your differences and toward the completion of an effective estate plan.


  1. Call it out. This is a difficult topic and likely very emotional. Acknowledge this from the get-go; commit to listening and honoring one another.


  1. Put away your boxing gloves. Don’t treat this conversation as a battle that will be won or lost. Come to the conversation prayed up and determined to find common ground.


  1. Discuss shared values. You have faith and values that have become the bedrock of your marriage and parenthood. Take a step back from the expected distribution plan. What do you really want to accomplish and model to your loved ones through your plan?
  2. Identify areas of difference or concern. Where do you see things differently? More importantly, why? Listen carefully to one another with the intent to understand.


  1. Explore creative solutions. Look for the planning solutions that support your shared values and help you achieve your ultimate goals.

Many couples enlist the help of a trusted ally to guide them through these difficult conversations. Experienced planners have waded in these deep waters many times before, and they can help you identify creative solutions to move forward.


Through CMDA’s partnership with Barnabas Foundation, you have direct access to this kind of trusted planning support. At no cost to you, you can speak with someone who not only understands the tax-wise options available, but who also approaches planning from a values-driven, God-honoring perspective.


To learn more and to schedule your complimentary and confidential planning conversation, email Paul Montgomery at Stewardship@cmda.org or call 423-844-1000.

Christian Medical & Dental Associations®

About Christian Medical & Dental Associations®

The Christian Medical & Dental Associations® (CMDA) is made up of the Christian Medical Association (CMA) and the Christian Dental Association (CDA). CMDA provides resources, networking opportunities, education and a public voice for Christian healthcare professionals and students.