Not everyone in the District of Columbia is good at handling family finances or business matters. This fact should be taken into consideration when conducting estate planning. One of the goals of an estate plan is to make things easier on the family members left behind, and that may mean inserting a third party into the process.
When a family is grieving, it can make dealing with financial issues even more challenging. If one spouse is not ordinarily involved in the family's finances and other issues, it's easy to become confused. This is particularly true at such a difficult time personally. One way to tell whether a family member may need outside help when the time comes is during a discussion about the particulars of the estate plan.
If the family member seems to have difficulty grasping what will happen, it may be a good idea to simplify matters. It might be easier to remember where a business card is, rather than trying to remember where all of the family's important documents are located. Many people leave their original estate planning documents with their attorney, along with documents regarding family accounts and other assets. This takes at least some of the pressure off a surviving spouse or family member.
One of the primary goals of estate planning for most District of Columbia residents is to ensure that their families are taken care of when they pass away. For some people, this will mean involving a third party who is responsible for keeping important documents and who can assist a family as needed. Peace of mind can seem fleeting in the days weeks and months after losing a loved one, and taking away at least some of the burden may help those left behind as they struggle to move forward.
Source: Forbes, "The Single Most Important -- And Unconventional -- Estate Planning Tip You Will Ever Get", Charles Sizemore, March 19, 2015