Communicating With Your Loved Ones About Your Estate Plan
When clients meet with me to sign their finished estate plan, they often ask where they should store their estate planning documents. They are understandably concerned about keeping their personal information safe, while at the same time wanting to make it easily accessible to loved ones who may have to step in at a moment’s notice and care for their minor children and assets. I always advise them that communicating to their loved ones that they created an estate plan is an important step in the estate planning process.
Here are a few thoughts I share with my clients when their estate plan is complete:
- Tell your loved ones and beneficiaries that you’ve created an estate plan. If you feel comfortable, let them know your final wishes and why you made certain decisions about your assets and health care. Let your trustees, guardians, and agents, know where your estate plan is located, so they don’t have to waste time and energy hunting for your legal documents if something happens to you.
- Give your trustees, guardians and agents your estate planning attorney’s contact information or business card so they know whom to contact if anything happens to you, as your attorney will have a copy of your estate plan in their files and can assist them during this difficult time. To simply your affairs, you may just want to give them a copy of your estate plan.
- If you’d rather not tell your beneficiaries specific information about your estate plan or where the documents are located, make sure they also know your attorney’s contact information. You don’t want them to spend unnecessary time and resources trying to locate your attorney during an emotional and painful time.
Here are a few thoughts I share with clients who are beneficiaries of a loved one’s estate:
- Talk with your loved ones about their final wishes. Make sure you understand how they want their affairs handled, including their health care decisions. If your parents or loved ones don’t yet have an estate plan, suggest they speak with an estate planning attorney to ensure they have the proper legal documents drafted.
- If your loved ones have created an estate plan, ask for their attorney’s contact information. Make sure to keep this information up to date as their attorney may change over time.
- If your loved ones feel comfortable sharing, ask them where their estate plan is located, and if they’d give you a copy. Like their attorney’s contact information, make sure to keep your copy of their plan up to date, as they may amend it over the years.
Contact Skye Ferrera today at firstname.lastname@example.org and schedule your free estate planning consultation.
This blog is for educational purposes only, and not to provide specific legal advice. You understand that there is no attorney client relationship established between you and the blog site publisher by using this blog. If you are seeking legal advice about your specific situation, please contact a licensed attorney.