What My Family Should Know

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My adult daughter asked me once what medications I was taking.  I told her that I took two prescription medicines.  She asked me what they were and what they were for.  I told her that one was a medicine for hypertension and that the name started with a B, and the other was for high cholesterol, and the name of it started with a C.  She asked me for the dosages and I looked at her with a blank look, then told her that one pill was round and pink and the other one was shaped like a football and was also pink.  She then asked what I said to my clients who did not know what medications they were taking, and I told her that I scolded them.  She frowned at me.  My daughter was of course correct in wanting to know what medications I am taking.  It just never dawned on me that I should write that information down, and of course learn the names and dosages myself.

We provide our clients with a notebook of copies of their estate planning documents.  The notebook is prepared as a working tool, which our clients can use as an organizer for all sorts of information in addition to having copies of documents handy.  We design the notebooks so that they can be kept on a bookshelf, or in a desk drawer.  We encourage our clients to let their close family members know where this notebook is kept, so that they can use it as a source of information for others.

We need to keep in mind that there will be loved ones and friends who will step forward to help us when we need help.  So we need to help them by making crucial information available to them, should they need to know it.  In the notebooks, we include a section called “What My Family Should Know.” Click Here to See Document This is a helpful organizer for important information.  It includes pages on which to list financial institutions at which accounts are held, with account numbers, credit cards, retirement plans, real estate, cars, and all other property, such as art collections, jewelry and even the title for the boat.  Furthermore, there are spaces for the names of doctors, ministers and we encourage our clients to include “posse” members, those folks who are our closest allies when help is needed.  Finally, there are pages for funeral arrangements and directions regarding burial or cremation.  My favorite page is the one on which you can write how you want to be remembered.

Preparing an estate plan is an important and helpful act of love for your family.  It says to them that you cared enough about them to have your own affairs organized.  And, furthermore, you need to tell them where they can find the information that you have carefully organized for them.  Send a letter to them today.