This holiday season, youll probably spend quality time with your loved ones. Often, many generations will come together to create memories, and to remember those we’ve lost. During this time of family gatherings, take a few moments to ask your family members if they have updated Estate Planning documents in place and, if so, where to find them in case they are needed. If they have not taken steps to prepare these documents or haven’t reviewed them in the last few years, encourage them to talk to an attorney to help prepare them.
It is inevitable that each of us will have a need for most of these documents during our lifetimes. Having a Will and Trust can save your loved ones a significant amount of time and money when settling an Estate. Having a Living Will gives clarity to your wishes about having artificial nutrition and hydration should you become permanently unconscious. And having Powers of Attorney can help settle any conflicts which may arise if you are unable to take care of your needs should you become incapacitated, and will likely eliminate the need for your family to obtain Guardianship over you if the need arises.
People sometimes avoid these issues because they are unpleasant. But even more unpleasant can be the Probate process when someone does not have these legal documents in place. Remind your loved ones that family members who are unsure of your wishes are more likely to feel conflicted, and may create more conflict with other family members. Ask them to give something more valuable than material gifts this year give peace of mind knowing that when your family is grieving they wont also have to deal with the uncertainty of not knowing how you want your final affairs to be handled. Let those happy memories of Christmastime be the ones that last.