3 Important Estate Planning Talks to Have with Your Family
Talking about death is never easy. However, at Keystone Law Firm, we’ve seen what happens when families don’t talk about their final arrangements. We believe there are three important estate planning talks you should have with your family.
1. Estate Plans.
You don’t have to tell your loved ones every detail about your estate plans unless you want to. But they should know that you have signed estate planning documents and where those documents are.
People chosen to be executors, trustees, or personal representatives certainly should know what’s expected of them. You should give them some instructions to make their jobs a little easier.
While it’s difficult to have these discussions now, it’s much worse when a family is unprepared. In some cases, you might want your heirs to know that a big inheritance is coming so they can prepare for it. Or, if your heirs are already planning how to spend a significant inheritance, they should know that maybe it’s not going to be as much as they thought. It’s good to manage expectations.
2. Contact Information and Your Digital Assets.
Make sure your family has your attorney’s name and contact information. Also, try to keep up-to-date contact information for your beneficiaries, trustees, and executors. Not being able to find an heir can delay the distribution of your estate.
In 2016, Arizona adopted the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act. We all have at least some digital assets like online bank accounts, email accounts, social media, digital music or video files. An agent or personal representative needs to know how to find and access your accounts if necessary.
It’s best to plan ahead. Prepare a list of digital assets with logon information and leave it in a safe place. You have the power to allow or restrict access to your accounts. Make sure your family knows how you want your digital assets to be handled and where your list of digital assets is being stored.
3. Final Thoughts and Arrangements.
Talk to your family about your funeral or memorial wishes. You can ease the discussion by using the following documents:
- An After Death Checklist gives your family an easy-to-use list of what to do after you pass away.
- Memorial Instructions allow you to plan your own funeral so your family doesn’t have to.
- Prepaid funeral documents help your loved ones immediately know which funeral home to call and whether you want to be buried or cremated.
Finally, let your loved ones know if you have prepared any type of memoir or letter about your life. At Keystone Law Firm, we use a Legacy Recording for clients to tell their families about important events in their lives, their belief system, or their family history.
Some of your family members may resist talking about what will happen to your things after you’re gone. It’s a difficult topic. Having your estate plans prepared and signed will make your family discussions easier because you will already have made the necessary decisions.
Maybe we can help.
At Keystone Law Firm, we use our 5-Step Process to help clients like you decide which documents to include in your personal estate plan. Call us at (480) 418-8448 or visit our website at keystonelawfirm.com to check out some of our free seminars. Serving the greater Chandler area, including Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Sun Lakes, Mesa, and Tempe.