Thursday, May 17, 2012

Common Pitfalls in Estate Planning - Part III

          This is the final Estate Planning pitfall in this series of posts.  The first two were using an online company for your estate planning documents and neglecting to review your beneficiaries after important life events.  This last one should be the easiest, however we often have a hard time doing it. It is:

Not discussing your estate plans with your loved ones. 
          This can be a tricky subject matter.  You may not wish to tell your children and other family members about what they will or won’t be getting when you die.  That’s fine.  But they do need to be aware of the existence and location of your estate documents.  It's unfortunate when a family member knows their parent or loved one had a Will, but does not know where it is.  (I always keep a copy of every Will I draft for a client in my office, just in case.  Hopefully their attorney did too.) 

          Further, the person whom you name to be your executor, trustee, or guardian of your children, needs to know about that future role.  Particularly with your guardian, this needs to be the subject of a conversation at some point before you execute your Will.  It is important that the person or persons who will be trusted with your most beloved asset - your children - will willingly and lovingly accept that duty.  It is not necessary to go into detail about gifts being made in your Will, but a little communication about certain things now can save a lot of grief and expense later on. 

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