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The holidays are upon us, and with them come gatherings of relatives and family. Often a time of joy, it is always an opportunity to make sure your loved ones have essential information. As I type I can hear my husband now -- seriously Melinda, what a downer topic for a holiday meal. Okay, yes, maybe not at the table, but during the course of a visit ask yourself, do these folks know what they need to know? Here would be my top five:
- Location of my powers of attorney and will (assuming my husband cannot act);
- Name and number of someone willing to care for our cat's in the event of an accident or death;
- Location of a list of our assets (retirement accounts, life insurance, business bank accounts);
- Where to find information on what bills are on auto-pay with our credit card and or checking account; and
- How to find contact information for the people we've named as guardian of the children and their trust.
The people you share a holiday meal with are often the people you will turn to in crisis. Life will be just a bit easier if this information is shared. May it dampen the mood? Yes, but follow-it up with a good comedy or nature walk. That is how this estate planning lawyer would view the opportunity.