We often find that people will come into our office and are absolutely adamant that they get these documents done and they appoint the appropriate people to make decisions in the future.
Unfortunately, the one thing that people forget is to make their intentions very clear to the agent that they are naming. There are far too many horror stories of cases where the agent did not necessarily know what the principal intended, and it caused major chaos and heartache in families.
It is not enough just to appoint somebody, but you must take the time to sit down with them and let them know a little bit about what your wishes are.
This can be as simple as how you pay your bills and how you like to manage your money, to your day-to-day healthcare decisions and beliefs on certain types of healthcare. It could also mean your wishes regarding end of life decisions and what you want to have happen if you are end-stage medical. It also would be extremely helpful even if your estate planning provides equally to certain number of beneficiaries to tell your executor whether you intend for them to sell the house or give the house to one of the beneficiaries.
I often find that children never fight over what mom and dad wanted, they only fight over what mom and dad intended.
I could not tell you how many times I have heard, but mom intended for us to … or dad intended us to … .
It is amazing to me how many different intents one person can have. The reason for that is because the wishes were not made clear to everybody. People always want to do what mom and dad wanted, and they will fight to the end to do just that.
My advice is that you put your wishes in writing, even if it’s just as simple as an e-mail to your agents or call a family meeting and bring everyone in at one time to tell everyone what you want to see happen. Don’t allow miscommunication or unvoiced intentions wreck your family or your future. To make sure you have your documents as you want them to be join us for our free estate planning educational workshop. You can find out more and RSVP here.