Communicating Your Estate Plan to Your Beneficiaries.

Your estate plan is a vital tool to have your wishes carried out when you are incapacitated or have passed away. It is how you give your money and property to those you care about, including charitable organizations. It also provides the instructions for the care of your minor children. Creating your estate plan is an important first step. Next you should communicate your wishes and priorities to those you have selected to be your personal representative, your trustee, and your health care surrogate. Their understanding the details of your plans and wishes helps prevent confusion and dysfunction, including potential court room litigation. There are many components to estate plans including a Power of Attorney, Living Will, Last Will and Testament, and Revocable Living Trust.

Should you become incapacitated, your agent can have your health care wishes carried out with confidence if you have had a direct conversation with them regarding potential treatment options. Don’t have your wishes be a surprise at a critical and very emotional time. Sensitive and direct discussions regarding the contents of your Last Will and Testament or Trust can give an accurate understanding of your intentions. This can prevent confusion and hurt feelings. This understanding can mitigate the disappointment of asset distribution, strained relationships among the heirs, and even the possibility of court room litigation.

A carefully crafted estate plan can be designed to prevent beneficiary conflicts. While that is true, the best outcome comes when the beneficiaries have a clear and common grasp of the decision making that went into the creating of the estate plan. A family meeting can be a very effective format to discuss the terms and intent of the plan documents. It is a time when questions can be asked in a relaxed setting. Writing your estate plan with an experienced estate planning attorney helps to make certain that your documents are valid, enforceable, and less likely to be disputed.
Be sure to keep your estate plan current. Update it when there are lifecycle events with you or your heirs such as deaths, births, marriages, or divorces. Discuss your estate plan with your heirs and agents. Design or update a plan that reflects your specific needs and wishes. Work with Shoffner & Associates to make sure your plan works well for you and your beneficiaries.

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Freya Allen Shoffner, Esq.
Shoffner & Associates
Counselors to Small Business and Families.

Give Freya a call at (617) 369-0111 TEXT US (857) 524-3422 or email