End-of-life arrangements are highly personal decisions. You have legal control over your body, possessions, and financial assets until your expiration, and rightly so. When you work with the elder law firm of Beasley & Ferber, you can trust that your end-of-life arrangements will be held in the strictest of confidence. However, to facilitate matters after your demise and to ease the way for survivors, you may choose to disclose those arrangements with certain others.
Sometimes people like to disclose end-of-life arrangements with direct beneficiaries of trusts, wills, and insurance policies. While this choice often comes from an eagerness to let beneficiaries know they will not be forgotten, it’s not always smart to disclose this information. Being a direct beneficiary with full knowledge of the inheritance makes that person vulnerable to scrutiny, should unusual circumstances come into play. For instance, if an end-of-life decision must be made, you wouldn’t want your beneficiary to be wrongfully accused of trying to sway the choice in one way or another. Rest assured that the very act of including a loved one in your financial gifting post-departure will ensure they know they were cherished.
When estate planning necessitates leaving property and other assets to adult children, it can be a good idea to let those children know what they can expect. This is especially the case when you have multiple children since surviving children have a tendency to debate the fairness of inheritances. To avoid family rifts after your passing, let adult children know ahead of time at least the percentage of your estate that each can expect to receive.
Now, this brings up a dilemma. While you may want your adult children to know what percentage of your assets they will get, you may not necessarily want their spouses to know, or their spouse’s parents. There’s no point in denying that if the estate is substantial, adult children and their spouses will be liable to talk about what numbers that you’ve disclosed. Therefore, it will no longer be very private.
One way to circumvent this is to directly ask that your adult children keep the information private. Another way is to keep it general; let them know they will each be treated equally, but do not disclose any other details.
Crisis Planning is a Special Case
An Advance Directive is a way that you can let your wishes be known to doctors and loved ones in case you are mentally incapacitated and unable to do so. It behooves your loved ones if you tell them that you have signed an Advance Directive to be followed in this circumstance. This way, your loved ones will be ready to make that difficult decision on your behalf. You should tell your spouse or partner at a minimum.
When you’re ready to make end-of-life arrangements, contact the elder law firm of Beasley & Ferber, everything will be made easier. Whether you need estate planning or to put in place an Advance Directive, you can rely on us.