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Estate Planning While Family is Gathered for the Holidays

The holidays are a time of year where the family gathers together and shares memories. This year may look a little different due to COVID-19, but there are still ways to meet virtually with extended family. As you are spending time with aging grandparents or parents this holiday season, here are a few questions you can ask to get an idea of their estate plans:

1. Do you have a will? If there is a will in place, be sure that it is updated to reflect changes with divorce, birth in the family, marriage, or death of a beneficiary.

2. What would you like to happen if you can no longer take care of your financial matters? It is important to specify someone to have a power of attorney over your accounts and financial transactions. In the case of someone falling ill or having an accident, these matters will not go neglected.

3. Do you need a trust? A trust is an entity that holds assets and money, and in the event of death, the trust lives on and is left in the hands of the trustee. The trustee is in charge of holding the money and assets, and following the directions left by the creator of the trust, or grantor. This can mean passing out money when grandchildren reach a certain age or selling everything and dividing the money evenly between the beneficiaries.

4. Who is appointed to have the healthcare power of attorney if you are unable to make medical decisions? The person who has a power of attorney over your medical decisions may be different from the person appointed a power of attorney over your financial matters. Be sure that this scenario has been considered and a power of attorney has been selected.

5. Do you have life insurance, and who are the beneficiaries? Talk about life insurance, where the documents are, how to access the insurance plan, and who the beneficiaries are listed on the plan.

These conversations may be difficult to initiate. But once your loved one understands how vital these estate planning steps are, they will appreciate that you made an effort to talk with them.

We know how important it is to get your affairs in order with estate planning. Our experts at Miles & Hatcher, LLP, can help you make plans for your property and assets after you pass away. Your loved ones will be grateful that you made preparations, knowing that your legacy will be honored precisely how you wanted it to be. You can call us today and receive a free consultation: (909) 481-4080.

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