Discussing estate planning at Christmas

Christmas is traditionally a time for families to get together, and more often than not, a time to take stock of family relationships and any issues that may have surfaced during the year. 2010 may have been a year when a friend or relative passed away, and this can often lead to a discussion about their estate and how their property was distributed.

When you potentially have multiple generations of your family seated at a table, it may be a perfect opportunity to start a conversation about estate planning. For many families it would be impertinent to want to discuss the contents of a person’s Will, but it would usually be a reasonable question to ask which of those people around the table had a Will in place. It would also be appropriate to ask if these documents had been looked at or updated at any time in the last few years.

Furthermore, it would be important to make sure that these documents were available to the Executor. It is essential that these documents are safe, but accessible at the appropriate time.  It is also encumbent upon everybody to let their designated Executors know that they have been named in the Will and chosen to take on this role.

You could also examine other family member’s knowledge of the other documents in a complete Estate Plan, like the Power of Attorney, Living Will and Healthcare Power of Attorney.

If any family members do not have a Will, talk to them about the problems that they will be creating for the loved ones that they leave behind – it is a selfish act to not put a Will in place. You can even explain to them that at LegalWills, they can create a Will at home, at any time, without the assistance of a lawyer, in about 30 minutes.

Or you could go the extra step and buy a gift certificate for LegalWills. Yes, you can actually buy the gift of peace of mind for any family members. If somebody doesn’t have a Will, buy them a Christmas gift that they really need; a Last Will and Testament.

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