Who Needs a Copy of Your Estate Planning Documents?

If you died today, would your spouse or your children know how to carry out your wishes?  Would they know who to call or what first steps to take? While you do not have to tell your family about every single detail of your financial situation or last wishes, it is important that they know where to find your estate planning and health care documents. You can easily make the process simple for the people you love by equipping them with the information they will need in case of an emergency.

As an Estate Planning Attorney, Memphis TN trusts, we’d like to share with you a few tips about what you should share with your loved ones now to make it easier on them if you should unexpectedly die or become incapacitated:

(1) Who to Call. Family members should also know who to call, such as your attorney or accountant.

(2) Where to Look.  Organize your Estate Plan and make certain your loved ones know where to find it if needed. Keep all original documents in one secure place, such as a fireproof safe or safe deposit box. Make sure the correct people have proper and legal access to your important papers.

(3) What to Do. Many Estate Plans include instructions for loved ones with detailed information and instructions for funeral and memorial arrangements, as well as where to find accounts, life insurance, etc. Take the time to complete instruction documents.

(4) Distribute Copies of Health Care Documents. Give copies of your signed health care documents to your doctor and to the people you have appointed as your health care agents. As a general matter, we don’t recommend distributing copies of your Will or other major documents in case you later decide to make changes.  For those documents, just make sure your loved ones know where to find the documents.

Many of us do not like to think about what will happen when we die. Death and incapacitation are not pleasant things to think about, and many people put off planning for this very reason. But, don’t delay! Your loved ones will appreciate the care you took to help guide them in handling your affairs.

If you need help with your estate plan, or have questions about how you can plan ahead now for the future, contact the trusted lawyer today.


Thanks to our friends and contributors at Wiseman Bray PLLC who have significant experience in Wills, Trusts, and Estate Planning.