Top 10 Mistakes People Make in Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts: # 9 – Failure to Inform


Failure to inform means failing to let others know important things about your wishes and finances that they will need to know if you die or become incapacitated.

Where is your Will? Do you have a trust? Do you have a healthcare directive? Where can your loved ones find these things? What are your assets? What are your debts? Do you have any assets hidden away somewhere? Who does your taxes? Do you have insurance your loved ones will need to know about, such as life, longterm care, health, homeowner or auto? What are your end of life wishes? Did you preplan your funeral or purchase a plot? Do you have a safe deposit box and where is the key?

An increasingly common area in which people fail to adequately inform their loved ones is in regard to the internet. The proliferation of using electronic billing statements, account records, automatic debit payments, subscriptions, email, facebook, websites and blogs all make for a lot of information that is not accessible to anyone unless they know about it and they have the necessary passwords.

You do not have to divulge private financial details or give out copies of your estate planning documents. Just make sure that someone knows where to find them and keep a current list of assets, debts, internet addresses, emails and passwords. Also be sure to discuss your medical care and end-of-life wishes with your loved ones. That’s always easier to address in moments of health and calm and hearing things directly from you can be reassuring.

About Helene P. Dreyer Koch

Estate Planning Attorney (Wills, Trusts, Probate) Indian Wells, California * 760.360.2400
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