Do Estate Planning During the Upcoming Holidays

HOLIDAYS AND ESTATE PLANNING—7 TIPS TO CONNECT THE TWO

Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays present two opportunities to sit with family and discuss estate planning. For many of us, one of these holidays is the only time in the year or in many months, when all or most of the family gets together. Let 2015 be the year when you consider finally letting the appropriate family members know that you want to have a sit-down with them to discuss what happens when you go on to a permanent holiday in Heaven. Here are seven items to keep in mind as you go about this:
• Let everyone involved in the meeting know ahead of time that you will be discussing estate issues. Exercise discretion.
• Keep the meeting as short as possible with time for questions
• Convene the appropriate group at a sit-down, formal meeting, with no interruptions
• Review your current will, powers of attorney, directives and trust documents so that you are current on who plays which role and what the documents say
• Make the group as small as you need or feel comfortable with. If you only want to talk about a medical power of attorney, for example, discuss that document with only the agents you name in it
• Advise the appropriate family member(s) where your will and other important documents can be found, and most importantly
• Begin the process of having your will and related documents prepared, if you have not done that yet. That will be a great holiday gift to yourself and your family.
This month we will be giving thanks for all we have and most of us will celebrate again in December. Having a firm hand on your estate plan will make the celebrations more significant and the unknowns of the future less stressful.