Estate Planning Checklist

Many people are flying blind as they attempt to care for loved ones, either elderly parents or spouses who are having health problems.

A story in the Chicago Tribune cited a survey that showed only 55 percent of those in the so-called sandwich generation said their parents have a will or trust document.

In addition, almost a quarter of those 65 and older said they don’t know where their parents’ estate documents are kept and 44 percent said they didn’t know what was in those documents.

These shortcomings often result in money being tied up in court and cause people to be unable to pay even funeral expenses, the story said.

Another problem is that few adult children have health care directives. This can be an issue with adult children away at school or living alone unmarried.

The article offers the following advice:

  • Update wills, trusts, powers of attorney and health care directives every five years.
  • Make sure your documents are available to the people who will need them. For example, your doctor should have a copy of your health care directive.
  • Keep your documents in an electronic format that can be accessed by your representatives anytime.

If you have questions about estate planning, feel free to call us for a consultation at (626) 696-3145.

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