You may think that if you already have a will or trust you do not need an estate planning memo. But the truth is a will alone often is insufficient to provide your family or loved ones with the crucial information, documents, and instructions for what to do after you are gone. And if you have gone to the trouble of creating a will or trust to minimize or to eliminate fees, and taxes its important to take the next step to make it work effectively.
So what is the next step?
A personal Estate Planning Memo.
An Estate Planning Memo of instructions often includes information about funeral and burial arrangements, important family records, the location of your estate plan including your will and other legal documents, financial records, safe deposit box information and more.
As an example, in cases of wills with trusts for children and or grandchildren you might want to give the trustee non-binding background information on distributions to children.
Do not leave your family or loved ones to figure out where important documents, legal and financial information, and last wishes are located and what they mean.
Leave a Memo explaining what to do, how to do it, and where the information they need is. It will often eliminate and reduce fees and costs.
Your surviving family or loved ones simply have to follow the instructions and will have all the information they need in order to effectively and efficiently settle your estate.
Make an Estate Planning Memo of instructions and not only will your family or loved ones benefit when you are gone but you will benefit by having this Memo for your records of where all your documents are, what all your important policies are, and other critical information at your finger tips instead of all over your office, or in desk drawers, or even in bins in the basement.
We have learned over our many years of experience that an Estate Planning Memo, along with a comprehensive estate plan, can save your estate and your loved ones money, time, energy, and cut down or eliminate family disputes.
Read Do You Have a Memo With Your Will or Trust? on what to include in your Memo.