When you think of your family festivities to celebrate the holidays, estate planning may not be on your mind. We think it should be.
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While eggnog and estate planning might not be the typical tradition, the holidays are a great time to have important discussions with family members.
Why should estate planning be a topic at the dinner table?
Because of the following:
- In person discussions are so important when planning for the future. Often, family members are together in person over the holidays which allows for opportunities to talk about future plans. Estate planning can broach delicate topics which are better left to in-person encounters.
- Memories and current situations are often the topic of discussion. If your family has had previous dealings with the probate court, hospital care, or other issues, now is the time to discuss who you would like to make medical and financial decisions for you, you should become incapacitated. This is also a time to encourage your loved ones to have the appropriate documentation in place, so that they are protected in the event of incapacitation. You can also clarify your wishes, so that your family knows how you would like to be treated if incapacitated. If you have a family that is currently in a nursing home or are aging, you want to make sure that everyone is aware of their wishes for their treatment. It is also important to know if they have the correct documents in place to allow their caregivers to make decisions on their behalf.
- Gift giving should be considered. If you are given any family treasures, big or small, you may want to add them to your estate plan. We help our clients draft personal property memorandums to be able to pass important family objects to loved ones. Also, big financial gifts or large gifts should be taken into account when planning an estate. The holidays are a great time to consider how to protect your assets.
- Important details can be shared. If you are together with your loved ones, you can take the time to show them where you are keeping your estate plans. If you are with your parents, you should ask where their documents are and find out who you need to contact in the event your parents become incapacitated. You should also make sure your documents are in order with all of the appropriate signatures.
- Holidays are a great time to be thoughtful about your wishes. Often, we have time off from work and busy schedules over the holidays. This allows you a little time to think about the people in your life and consider who you would want to make decisions for you in the event of incapacitation. It allows you to think about your assets and how you want them divided upon your passing.
The holidays are the perfect time to discuss estate planning, as you can let your family know your wishes and have peace of mind knowing that you have discussed those wishes.
Once you have had a chance to discuss your estate plan, we can help you update or create your tailored estate plan.
Happy Holidays from Rickard & Associates!
Contact us today to help you get the right documents in place or to update your current estate plan. We will plan so that you don’t have to worry about your future.
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