Creating an estate plan is one of the best gifts you ever give to your loved ones. Don’t stop at just creating an estate plan though, take the time to sit down and explain it to them as well.
Your estate plan should do more than just decide who will receive what when you die. It should also include an incapacity plan as well as take into account retirement goals and long-term care needs. All of these components of your estate plan are important and each should be discussed with loved ones who are affected by the plan.
Imagine, for example, that you are in a catastrophic car accident tomorrow. Someone must make important decisions regarding your medical care immediately. In addition, financial decisions may need to be made over the next few weeks as well. Although your estate plan provides for incapacity planning as well as including a living will, no one in the family knows where your estate planning documents are kept much less what they say.
In order to avoid a situation such as that, call a family meeting to discuss your estate plan. You may not need to discuss all of it with everyone, but at the very least go over the basics with the people who need to know. Often, people choose to do this at their estate planning attorney’s office so that he or she can answer any questions that might arise during the meeting.