As we get older, it becomes increasingly important to organize our lives so that if something happens to us, our adult children or other loved ones will know what to do. An unexpected accident or hospitalization can leave family members scrambling for information about financial or household issues. For example, someone may need to know how and when to pay the utilities or make the house payment to keep things running smoothly. The following tips can help to keep everyone in the family informed about important issues that may need to be addressed at some point.

Prepare adequate documents

A Last Will and Testament is one document most people should have. The Will, of course, explains how to handle things when a person dies. But what if someone lands has a serious car accident or stroke. There are other documents for that, like a Living Will and a Durable Power of Attorney that will ensure your wishes are carried out, along with conducting your personal and financial affairs as you desire. If you have designated family members, friends, or a company for these purposes, meet with them on a regular basis so they stay up to date with your life and wishes in case they are called on, in a moment’s to help you. If you happen to pre-pay a funeral, for example, but don’t get a chance to tell your adult child who will be the executor of your estate, he or she may be unaware of the paid funeral and pay for another one instead.

Have a frank discussion

Don’t drop hints or beat around the bush when you meet with whomever you have asked to help. Show them the current documents and explain what you expect to happen. Answer questions as best you can. Don’t make them guess as to your wishes and preferences, or things may break down and lead to conflicts if you are hospitalized or pass away.

Show and tell

During your family meetings, show or explain clearly where important documents and assets are stashed. Copies of documents that include an adult child as executor or beneficiary, for example, may be given to the person for future reference. You don’t want loved ones to have to rush around in a scavenger hunt manner to find your important papers and the key to the post office box or storage unit.

Preparing your loved ones for future events in family meetings gives them knowledge and peace of mind. Prepare them ahead of time so they won’t be at a loss to conduct business on your behalf. That will serve you and them. To learn more, contact our firm.

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