After you have prepared an estate plan, the next question is who should you share it with? Do you tell your family about your plan or do you keep this knowledge secret between you and your Estate Planning attorney?
The answer to these questions may not be so simple. Let’s look at your choices:
You do not tell your family about the estate plan.
Your decision to keep the plan undisclosed may be based on your intent to keep your true net worth a secret from your family, and this is not uncommon. In addition, you may also want to hide the details of your plan to avoid any disappointments and conflicts within the family.
But regardless of your intent, non-disclosure may result in confusion and leave several unanswered questions when the plan is disclosed after your demise. Your family may even challenge the Will, resulting in an expensive and time-consuming court battle for those you love.
You tell your family about the estate plan.
If you tell your family about your estate plan and what you had planned in it, it might help in easing the atmosphere within the family as they realize that loose ends have been taken care of.
The best thing to do is to inform your family of the existence of your estate plan and the place where it is kept. Also tell them the contact details of your attorney, so that they can contact him after your death. The people who should know about the plan are:
- Your family
- Your beneficiaries
- The individual or association with whom you have entrusted your assets and who can make financial decisions on your behalf after your death.
Mr. Kraft assists clients primarily in the areas of estate planning and administration, Medicaid planning, federal and state taxation, real estate and corporate law, bringing the added perspective of an accounting background to his work.