Estate planning is a deeply personal task and is often undertaken with a great deal of privacy. But your adult children should be privy to certain aspects of your estate plan. What are these? And how can you protect your own privacy while still ensuring your loved ones have what they need if something happens to you? Here's what you need to know about 5 of these important subjects.
1. Where Is Your Will?
An estate plan is only useful if people find it and implement it. The physical — and possibly, digital — location of the will and estate documents should be known by all heirs and even other interested parties (such as spouses of heirs). Making everyone aware of where to find the will doesn't mean telling them what's in it, but it ensures quick access when necessary.
2. Who Will Execute the Estate?
Who is responsible for handling the matters of your estate? This person may need to start working on steps, such as making final arrangements and initiating probate, as soon as possible. You may even need to discuss with them certain details like problematic clauses in the will or assets with special requirements. But letting the entire family know who will carry out your wishes helps reduce friction once it happens.
3. Which Professionals Do You Work With?
Your estate planning and financial planning professionals will be a valuable resource, so make sure your loved ones know who they can turn to. A financial planner or estate planner, for example, can help others understand your wishes when you made estate decisions. They know the most about your assets and liabilities. And they can help heirs work through their own financial questions.
4. What Are Your Final Arrangements?
Among the first acts of the estate will be to arrange for your memorial or funeral. Does your family know what you want? Even though it may be written in your will, the best route is to discuss your plans in person with your family or closest friends. This way, they can implement them with or without estate planning documents in hand.
5. Where Can They Find Other Information?
Along with the actual estate plan, your heirs will need a wide range of other information. Do they know where they can find things like your Social Security numbers, copies of life insurance policies, birth certificates, marriage licenses, or insurance information? Family doesn't need access to these things now, but they should know how to get to them if you're not around.
Where to Start
Communicating with your loved ones about your estate plan can be challenging. While you don't want to be transparent with all your personal details, their ability to answer these and other important questions will protect everyone in the future. Start by consulting with an estate planning professional in your area today to learn how to do this.
For more information on estate planning, contact a company like Horan.