A well-crafted Estate Plan gives you a great deal of control over what happens to you, your money, and your possessions once you have passed away. However, there are several things you will want to leave out of your official documents, in order to maintain flexibility after signing them. 𝑷𝒍𝒆𝒂𝒔𝒆 𝒏𝒐𝒕𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒔𝒆 𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒔𝒖𝒑𝒑𝒍𝒆𝒎𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒂𝒍 𝒎𝒂𝒕𝒆𝒓𝒊𝒂𝒍𝒔, 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒅𝒐 𝒏𝒐𝒕 𝒓𝒆𝒑𝒍𝒂𝒄𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑬𝒔𝒕𝒂𝒕𝒆 𝑷𝒍𝒂𝒏𝒏𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒅𝒐𝒄𝒖𝒎𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒎𝒔𝒆𝒍𝒗𝒆𝒔. With that said, here are a few things we recommend to help straighten out the finer details of your Estate Plan:
𝙏𝙖𝙣𝙜𝙞𝙗𝙡𝙚 𝙋𝙚𝙧𝙨𝙤𝙣𝙖𝙡 𝙋𝙧𝙤𝙥𝙚𝙧𝙩𝙮 𝙈𝙚𝙢𝙤𝙧𝙖𝙣𝙙𝙪𝙢. The Wills and Trusts that we prepare say that you will reserve a right to have a Tangible Personal Property memorandum that you can change from time to time.
In this document, you can list your household items and to whom you want to give them. These items can include jewelry, furniture, coin collections, tools, etc.
You should sign and date the Memorandum, and keep it with your other Estate Planning documents so it will be discovered. The following year, you may decide to prepare a new list because you changed your mind about something or you no longer own that item. Just don’t forget to add the new list to your documents and destroy the old one so there is no confusion.
𝙇𝙤𝙫𝙚 𝙇𝙚𝙩𝙩𝙚𝙧𝙨: We also recommend drafting a Love Letter to your loved ones detailing additional details about your wishes. In the Love Letter, you can provide instructions about any family traditions that you would like to see continued, instructions to Trustees of minor trusts about how to exercise their discretion, recommendations about investments, personal messages to particular loved ones, and many other considerations.
𝙁𝙪𝙣𝙚𝙧𝙖𝙡 𝘼𝙧𝙧𝙖𝙣𝙜𝙚𝙢𝙚𝙣𝙩𝙨: You should also make sure to have an in-person discussion with your loved ones about any funeral or memorial requests. Typically, when someone dies, the family does two things: grieve, and make arrangements for what to do with the body quickly. Your loved ones will not begin looking for your Will until after these services have been held.
𝘼𝙘𝙘𝙤𝙪𝙣𝙩 𝙄𝙣𝙛𝙤𝙧𝙢𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣. Lastly, you should setup a plan on how your loved ones will access your accounts, including emails and social media. Password managers may be a good solution. One of the most difficult aspects of handling someone’s estate can be figuring out what they have, and where it is. During our Probate consultations, we often refer back to old Estate Planning Questionnaires that former clients filled out years prior.
Please call us at 301-696-0567 or self-schedule at lenaclarklegal.com if you would like help protecting your assets and loved ones in the event of death or disability.
Sign up for our newsletter: https://bit.ly/LOLACnewsletter