Many times, as I work with clients, the topic of estate plan copies comes up and they ask me if they should provide copies of their estate plan to family members and/or friends. There is not a one-size fits all answer to that question. Instead, there are a number of things to consider to arrive at an answer. The following are some of the things to consider when determining the answer to the question “Should I give copies of my estate plan to ___?”:
- Does the individual need a copy? The agents named in your Power of Attorney or Advanced Directive for Healthcare, will likely need a copies in the event you are incapacitated. For this reason, it may make sense to provide copies of these documents to the agents or to tell the agents where he/she can obtain a copy in the event of your incapacity. For Wills, the Executor does not necessarily need a copy during your lifetime; however, it is important that you keep the document in a place the Executor will find it after your death. If you have a trust, it is important that the current Trustee have a copy and that successor Trustees know where to find the document.
- How likely are you to change/update your estate plan in the future? If you are likely to revise your plan and you have provided copies to family members or friends, it is possible that there will be multiple versions of your estate plan in existence unless you can retrieve all copies of the old version.
- Do you have a safe place to keep the documents that your family can retrieve rather than providing copies? If you have a safe deposit box, safe, or if your estate planning attorney stores originals, these are all locations family members and friends can retrieve the documents when needed. It is important to tell your loved ones where you are storing the originals or to have the location written on copies that they will find when going through your files.
If you wish to create an estate plan, talk to the experts at Grissom Law, LLC at 678-781-9230, and find out how we can help you.
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