We each have different things that we enjoy most about the holiday season. Most of us can agree, however, that the holidays are a great chance to catch up with family members and spend quality time with our loved ones. While you are checking in with your loved ones during the holidays this year, have you given some thought to sharing your estate plan and planning goals with the people who mean the most to you? It may seem like an unconventional time to discuss plans for when you are no longer here, but in reality it is important that your loved ones understand your decisions and the legacy you wish to leave for them.
Before discussing your plans with your loved ones, we encourage you to take some time to think about your planning goals and how your estate plan is set up to accomplish them. Refreshing your memory to remember the reasons for making each decision will likely make it easier for you to express your thought process behind those decisions to your loved ones. Clear communication is key to helping alleviate any uncertainty or family conflict that may arise after your passing in an already difficult time. It is also important to consider how you would like the conversation to proceed. Would you prefer to bring documents with you, for example, to illustrate your plans or would a brief conversation initially suffice?
During the conversation, allow your loved ones to voice their opinions, share their concerns, and ask questions. Listen to your loved ones’ worries and validate their feelings, but remember that your estate plan is your creation and you should stand by the planning decisions you have made. The key to having an effective discussion about your estate plan is transparency. Above all, do not let this be the last conversation you have about your planning decisions. We encourage you to update your loved ones about any changes made to your planning documents, so they feel involved and informed about the planning process.
Do not wait until it is too late to have this conversation with your loved ones. We know this can be a difficult discussion to have, but think about the family values you wish to pass on and the reason why you created an estate plan in the first place. Remember, we are here to be a resource for you. If you need further advice or have questions about anything discussed here, do not wait to contact us.
If you care about how your money is spent or not spent, invested, mismanaged, or misused when you’re dead, there are ways to leave your wealth so that your loved ones and chosen beneficiaries benefit from your money, but are not burdened by it. When you pass on, do you want your spouse or widow taken care of to the exclusion of everyone else or do you want your grandkids’ education paid for? Do you want to be able to buy a home for your child? Anne Desormier-Cartwright of Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys PA says that proper planning can make your wishes known. “If you want any control over how your money is spent “after you’re gone, “talk to your Florida estate planning attorney, “someone who prepares Florida wills and trusts “about placing restrictions and guidelines “and instructions on your wealth, “perhaps placing some or all of your assets “in a Florida trust.” She further advises that the time to plan is now, while you’re still living and competent. After you’re gone, you will not have a say in how your money is spent or misspent, used or misused. Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys PA is a law office small enough to provide personal service, but large enough to handle all of your estate and planning needs.
People try to stay healthy so they can live longer. But since no one lives forever, it’s important to make arrangements for the inevitable. To determine who gets your assets and how they receive them after your death and even what happens to you if you are unable to speak for yourself, you need an estate plan. But what does an estate plan cover and how do you make one? There are some important estate planning issues to consider when you decide what you want. Anne Desormier-Cartwright of Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys PA offers some insight. “Make a will, consider a trust, “establish healthcare directives, “make a financial power of attorney, “protect your children’s property, file beneficiary forms, “prepare for funeral and related expenses, “and make your final arrangements.” You should also plan ahead for your business and store your paperwork so your attorney and executor will have access to these documents. Desormier-Cartwright continues that this is a partial list and the advice of an experienced estate planning attorney will be the guidance you need to have a thorough understanding of a comprehensive estate plan. Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys PA is a law office small enough to provide personal service, but large enough to handle all of your estate and planning needs.