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Law Offices of James C. Shields

The Importance of Communicating Your Estate Plan

Let's be honest, no one likes thinking about not being around for their families or friends. We often avoid thinking about and talking about what will happen when we are no longer here and many times we avoid such conversations until it is too late. Our ability to avoid those conversations is partially why it can be difficult to create an estate plan. But even more difficult than just starting your estate planning is communicating your plans and wishes to those who will be around to implement them.

Often times, people make the mistake of thinking that all their final wishes, such as funeral preferences, should be in their will. While this seems like the logical place and Hollywood often portrays such notions, your last will and testament is typically not read until days or weeks after your funeral. So anything in the will regarding funeral preferences become obsolete. While an attorney can help you better understand the probate process and help you decide what should be and needs to be in your will, it is important that those close to you know your plans and wishes.

Your funeral preferences are just one aspect that should be communicated to your family. In this era of technology, it is important for your family to know about all your online accounts, whether it be social media, financial, email, or any other online account. For example, Facebook allows you to choose whether you want your page memorialized or simply deleted after you pass away. Often times, these seemingly meaningless decisions are overlooked or preferences are not properly communicated to the people who will ultimately be making the decisions. In addition to online accounts, many life insurance policies go unclaimed because beneficiaries are unaware that the policy even exists.

Once you pass away, you are obviously unable to communicate all your plans, accounts, passwords, policies, etc. to your family. Which is why communication is crucial sooner, rather than later. We know that estate planning is hard, but the compassionate professionals here at the Law Offices of James C. Shields are here to help. One tool that our attorneys use is the Confidential Estate Planning Data Sheet. This data sheet will give you an idea of everything that you need to consider when planning your estate and all information is kept completely confidential. Not only will we be able to help you create an estate plan, we can advise you on what steps you need to take now to make sure those close to you know, and are able to, carry out your plans.

Contact us today to talk with a knowledgeable, compassionate, professional about starting your estate planning.