An Estate Planning package – especially one that includes a Revocable Living Trust – 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 supplemental documents can be used in addition to a Last Will and Testament and Revocable Living Trust, not to replace them. With that said, please enjoy the following overview of a few tools we recommend to our clients to keep this control:
Tangible Personal Property Memorandum. Whether you select the Essential Estate Planning Package or the Trust Package, your documents will always reserve the right to leave a memorandum – a list – for the distribution of your personal property. This can include furniture, jewelry, coin collections, tools, any of the possessions that you have around the house.
Love Letters. We also recommend drafting Love Letters to your loved ones detailing additional details about your wishes. In the Love Letter, you can provide instructions about any traditions that you would like to see carried out or continued, finer details/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. You should also make sure to have an in-person discussion with your loved ones about any funeral or memorial requests. Oftentimes, out of respect, your loved ones will not begin looking for your documents until after these services have been held.
Account Information. Lastly, you should provide detailed information about your accounts, including where there is money located, any passwords (emails, social media, etc.) so your loved ones can have easier access when managing your affairs. One of the most difficult aspects of handling someone’s estate can be figuring out what they have, and where it is – as we assist our Probate clients, it is one of the only things we really cannot help them out with.
The greatest benefit to these documents is that they can be easily modified or replaced without having to revise your Estate Planning documents.
Please call us if you would like help protecting your money and loved ones in the event of death or disability. You can call our Client Relations Specialist at 301-696-0567 during regular business hours, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, schedule online at lenaclarklegal.com, or speak to one of our 24-hour representatives after hours.