This is a question that comes up often, in one of many forms. Usually about midway through our Delivery Meeting, our client will ask something along the lines of either “should we give our kids a copy of this?” or “what should we tell our kids about this plan?”
Our answer is always the same: what you share with your loved ones about your planning is entirely up to you. There is no “one size fits all” response that works for every family. As with the design of the plan itself, every family is different, and how you approach situations will depend entirely on your current situation. Some people are more open with their family about their personal dealings, while others prefer to keep the details private.
I tell the families that we serve that they can share as much or as little about their planning as they are comfortable with. People will span the range of options, with some actually making copies of the plan documents and giving them to the family, and others won't say a word about having even put an estate plan together (I don't recommend this one).
We recommend that you share at least the following information with your loved ones:
- that you have put together a trust or a will;
- who will be responsible for taking action when needed (your agents under the Powers of Attorney, your Successor Trustees, and your Executors); and
- where you will keep the original plan documents so they can get them when needed.
We also offer to make our guides for serving as Successor Trustee or Executor available to them so they will know what they will need to do when the time comes. If you would like a copy of one or both of the guides, call our office (419-872-7670) or send us an email (Charlene@chamberlain-law.net) and we will be happy to send it to you.