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Making estate planning easier for the family

05/24/2015 | Estate Planning

Some California residents may know that one facet of estate planning involves explaining to family members what the estate plan entails and what to do if that individual should die. Because an estate plan may be complex, there might be an easier way to take care of those details without unduly stressing family members.

One estate planning suggestion is to place the details of the plan with an attorney so that beneficiaries may make a phone call to that attorney to find out what the estate entails and where the documents for the estate are located. This may include a will and information on retirement accounts, insurance policies, banking and business accounts, and other assets. Instructions about paying bills or other ongoing financial matters may also be included in the estate plan.

In conjunction with this plan, it may also be advisable to involve family members in talks with the estate attorney ahead of the individual’s death. In this way, the family might have a greater level of comfort speaking with the attorney concerning estate affairs later. Another idea is to keep several of the attorney’s cards in a safe location in the home or business for the family’s convenience, which may help avoid confusion later.

Careful estate planning may help avoid problems for an individual’s family later on, and having a complete estate plan may be advantageous in making the transition easier and less stressful for the beneficiaries. An attorney may help the individual setting up an estate plan by offering insight into what should be included. The attorney may offer guidance based on an individual’s needs into different ways to provide for beneficiaries and to help facilitate a smooth transition.