How to Share Information About Your Estate with Your Loved Ones

Having other adults in your family who are appointed as executors, trustees or guardians for your minor children means that you need to have conversations with these key people about the basics of your plan.

Sharing information about your estate plan is not a onetime process. If you anticipate retirement and life for at least several more years, these conversations can be spread out over time to ensure that the right people have the right information and understand the specifics of your individual plans.

Everyone who is immediately involved in your estate plan should be clear about their role and the kind of tasks or responsibilities that they would need to handle either after a power of attorney becomes active or after you pass away.

Some of the most important roles you’ll want to include in conversations include trustees, executors, agents for health care powers of attorney, agents for property powers of attorney and authorized individuals who have access to medical information under HIPAA laws. You might specify one primary person for your documents and one or two contingency people or backups.

Make sure that a person who has been named as a backup in any role in your estate has been notified of this responsibility as well. Every key party who is involved in your estate plan should know where to find important documents, such as trusts, wills and powers of attorney.

You’ll also want to include comprehensive access to financial records or at least a list for them to identify credit cards and investment assets, bank accounts, debt and car loans.

As you develop your elder and estate plans in MI, make sure you have informed key people about their role and what, if anything, you need from them.

Rachel M. Estelle
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