Have Yourself A Merry Little Estate Plan

While thoughts of your estate plan may seem to clash with the joy and merriment of the holiday season, the holidays can actually be a perfect time to discuss your future plans with family and loved ones.  Although we keep in touch with friends and family throughout the year, for many of us, the holidays provide a rare opportunity to have extensive visits with those who mean the most to us. 

During the holidays, we tend to have more time for deeper conversations with our loved ones than we may have at other times during the year.  Your close friends and family can provide excellent advice and feedback as you consider all of your options.  So what types of things could you discuss?  Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Would your niece like your antique dining set after you pass away?  Are there any other specific items you own that a family or friend would truly treasure?
  • Should your brother become your children's guardian if something happens to you?  Would he be willing to take on this responsibility?
  • Is your best friend comfortable making decisions for you if you become incapable of managing your own medical care?
  • Should you give your daughter the power to take over your finances if you become incapable of doing so?  Would this be okay with your daughter and your other children?
  • Who would feel most comfortable taking on the role of personal representative and distributing your assets after you pass away?  Your friend?  Your mother?  Your nephew?

Including your friends and family in the estate planning process can be helpful to you, and it can prevent doubt and disagreement in the future by giving those you love a clear understanding of your wishes.  When the conversation comes to a lull, give it a shot. 

Best wishes for safe and happy holidays!