You may have executed what you believe is a comprehensive estate plan including a will, living trust, power of attorney, advance medical directive and other important documents. But just having an estate plan is not the end of the story. There are additional steps to take to ensure your final wishes are carried out.
Communicate your intentions to your loved ones
If your loved ones do not know of your estate plan it can cause delays when it comes to carrying it out or it can lead to the mismanagement of assets. It is important to educate your loved ones about the contents of your estate plan as well as your intentions. This can avoid unwanted surprises upon your passing. Sudden wealth can lead to bad decisions, so if your heirs know well in advance what they are to inherit they can make plans to handle this windfall wisely.
Many times, families have hidden conflicts with one another that simmer below the surface while you are still alive. Your death can bring these conflicts to light, especially if one family member believes your will should not be enforced because it was made under coercion, undue influence or if they believe you were not of sound mind when the estate plan was executed. Assuming the kids will figure it out may not be the best choice. Again, education is key.
Your estate plan will not do anyone any good if it cannot be found. All necessary documents should be collected and put in a safe place and this place should be disclosed to your executor. Usernames and passwords on important accounts should be written down and put with your estate planning documents so your power of attorney or executor can access them when the time comes.
Learn more about estate planning
Estate planning in Illinois does not end once you execute the necessary documents. You must communicate your wishes to your loved ones and stay organized. This can help ensure your estate plan will be carried out as you intended. This post is for informational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Our firm’s webpage on estate planning may be a good starting point for those who want to learn more about this topic.