Over the years we’ve talked with folks about how to organize their various documents in a way that would make it easier for children or other’s to step in to help in the event of incapacity or to settle their estate at death. Most of the people we’ve worked with have taken care of the big tasks in this area, creating a will or living trust, getting Durable Power of Attorney documents drawn and making sure they have an Advanced Directive to appoint someone to make decisions about health care if they are unable to.
But our lives just aren’t as simple as we would like them to be. We have digital identities, multiple bank and investment accounts, real estate holdings and other financial complications that only we might be aware of. In addition we have perhaps talked about what we would like to have happen in regards to care if we are unable to care for ourselves but successor trustees and children may not be privy to those decisions or preferences.
A recent book, “The Other Talk” by Tim Prosch makes the case for financial as well as family communications as a way to prepare for inevitable ageing and the changes that brings to family dynamics. It’s a quick read and has some very useful tools to help the process of communication with your children (or others) in regards to this important topic.
Maybe this is the year to start laying the groundwork for this stage of life? A worthy New Year’s resolution for Baby Boomers!