If you spend holidays with extended family, the holidays can be a convenient time to discuss your estate plan with your loved ones. It is a great idea to remind the important persons in your life what your plans and wishes are as you age, if you become incapacitated, and when you die.
Your family members may not want to engage in this conversation, so it’s up to you to encourage them to listen, because knowing your wishes is critical to making good decisions for you.
Here are several items to discuss:
- The location of your will, trust, power of attorney, and medical power of attorney
- The location of other important documents like financial information, insurance policies, and tax returns
- The identify of those you have selected to serve as your substitute decisionmakers under your financial power of attorney and your medical power of attorney
While it is not exactly pleasant to discuss the possibility of incapacity or the eventuality of death, it is better to arm the important people in your life with the information they need to be good decisionmakers for you if you become unable to make decisions for yourself.
The more meaningful information you provide, the better equipped your loved ones will be. Other important topics you might want to discuss are end of life preferences. If you have and Advance Medical Directive, some of your wishes are expressed in that document. You can find other tools to discuss end of life decisions here.
If you have not recently updated your estate planning documents, let us help! We recommend reviewing your documents at least every 3-5 years.