“What Should We Share with our Family about our Estate Plan?”
Mar 27, 2016 Posted by Richard Chamberlain

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.

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Richard Chamberlain Richard M. Chamberlain is the founder and principal attorney of the Chamberlain Law Group, Ltd. and is a member of the Ohio State Bar Association section on Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law. He has an undergraduate degree in Economics, magna cum laude, from Tulane University (1989) and received his law degree from Florida State University (1992), where he was a member of the Law Review. Richard was born in Port Sulfur, Louisiana (about an hour south of New Orleans – yes, there is land an hour south of New Orleans) in 1967. When he was 3, his family moved to Baton Rouge, where they lived until he was in college at Tulane University in New Orleans. After graduating from Tulane, Richard attended The Florida State University College of Law in Tallahassee, Florida, where he earned his law degree in 1992. While practicing law in Tampa, Florida, Richard met a beautiful girl named Kelly Sancraint (a transplant originally from Toledo, Ohio). They were soon married, and as they began their family, they made the decision in 1998 to move back to the Toledo area to be near family. Richard founded his own law practice (“The Law Office of Richard M. Chamberlain, Ltd.”) in Perrysburg, Ohio in 2007, focusing on the practice areas of estate planning and estate administration, business formation and planning, elder law and real estate law. In 2012, with the addition of his first associate attorney, the name of the firm was changed to “Chamberlain Law Group, Ltd.” Richard is a member of WealthCounsel, a cooperative alliance of nationally recognized estate planning attorney members from across the country. as well as being a member of The Rotary Club of Perrysburg and the Perrysburg Chamber of Commerce. Richard also serves on the Board of the Perrysburg Schools Foundation, and he serves in several ministries at CedarCreek Church. Richard and Kelly have 4 daughters, 1 son-in-law, and 1 granddaughter, who keep them both very busy with their varied interests.