While many life events provide us with adequate time to prepare, such as marriage, the birth of a child, or retirement, others—like accidents, injuries, or the death of a loved one—can happen without notice or a chance to prepare emotionally or financially. Knowing where to find important legal documents and financial information in the days and weeks following an unexpected event can help reduce stress in a time of crisis, and help you and family members avoid mistakes that may be difficult to reverse later.
The ideal time to initiate important discussions concerning legal and financial matters and end-of-life wishes is well before an illness, incapacitation, or death occurs. This helps to ensure that your loved ones:
- Know the location of key documents, like wills, trust documents, birth and marriage certificates, Social Security information, and life insurance policies, and safe deposit box keys. It’s also a good idea to inform your grown children about the location of important documents in the event of an accident or illness while you’re travelling.
- Understand your wishes regarding funeral arrangements, organ donation, and burial or cremation.
- Be aware of advance directives including living wills, which specify wanted and unwanted procedures including do-not-resuscitate (DNR) orders. These documents should also be readily available to take to the hospital if needed.
If you have questions or concerns about how you can help ensure your financial and estate planning matters are in order, let’s talk. We can also meet with any friends or family members you feel would benefit from insights into your estate planning wishes. If you prefer not to receive future educational emails such as this, please reach out to be removed from the list.