A Thanksgiving Message: Getting the Word Out to the Family

Use the Thanksgiving family get-together wisely.

Sometime between that first cocktail and the opening kick-off, gather the family around for a brief 10-minute conversation about you.

It could go something like this:

“I have made some plans.  I want to share them with you.

“Here is a folder containing copies of my powers of attorney, directive to physicians, and designation of burial agent.  Keep it someplace handy.

“Here is a list with contact information for my (choose all that apply) CPA, bookkeeper, financial planner, insurance agent, attorney, banker, doctor and priest/minister/rabbi/spiritual leader.

“Here is a list with contact information for my nearest neighbors and my closest friends.

“These are copies of the business cards of my plumber, electrician, home health company, pharmacy, and veterinarian.

“Also, here is a list of my current health conditions, allergies, and past surgeries.

“There are some documents and information you do not need right now and that I am not ready to share with you.  When the time comes that you do need to access them, then be aware that I put the originals of my social security card, birth certificate, passport, military discharge papers, will and other planning documents in my (choose one) 1) desk drawer, 2) filing cabinet, 3)  safety deposit box, 4) home safe,  or 5) [describe in detail].

“I also have in there the list of my assets, credit cards, debts, logins and passwords, and everything you need to know about the property I own.   I have included copies of my (choose all that apply) Medicare card, health insurance card, divorce decree, long-term care insurance, property insurance, marital agreement, trust, deeds, beneficiary designations, corporate documents, lease agreements, life insurance policies, annuities, promissory notes, liens, tax returns.

“Here is the information regarding the location of my safety deposit box and who can access it by signature only.

“I am preparing a memorandum regarding who will get certain things.  If there is something that you would like, then please let me know in the next week.   I would like my things to find a good home with someone who will value them the same way I do.

“It is my wish that everything go very smoothly when I die.  I have decided that I want to be (choose one) 1) buried, 2) cremated, 3) donated to science.  You have my instructions, but I may be providing more detail later.  I am also writing out my own obituary and choosing a picture.  I have set aside money in an account to pay for everything, and here are instructions on how to access it after I die.

“If I get sick or become feeble, then I want to live in (choose one)  1) my home, 2) with [name] in his or her home,  3) a retirement community,  4) a nursing home, or 5) [describe in detail].  Here is my written plan on how that will be financed.

“I give thanks every day that we can count on each other.  Thank you, and Happy Thanksgiving!”

Attorney Virginia Hammerle will present The Magnificent Seven – 7 Must-Have Estate Planning Documents  November 15, 2018, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the Flower Mound Assisted Living Center 6051 Morriss Rd, Flower Mound, TX.  This column does not constitute legal advice.