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No matter how much effort you’ve invested in crafting an estate plan, your will, trusts and other official documents may not be enough. Consider also drafting a “road map.” Essentially, it’s an informal letter that guides your family in executing your plan according to your wishes.
What to address
Among other things, your road map may include:
If you’ve preplanned your funeral, include information about the arrangements. If you haven’t preplanned it, consider explaining your burial wishes in the road map.
Communicate your motives
Use the road map to explain your reasoning behind certain estate planning decisions. Doing so can go a long way toward easing disputes over your estate after you’re gone.
For example, perhaps you’re distributing your assets unequally, distributing specific assets to specific heirs or placing certain restrictions on an heir’s entitlement to trust distributions. There are many good reasons for these strategies, but it’s important for your family to understand your motives to avoid hurt feelings.
Finally, like other estate planning documents, your road map won’t be effective unless your family knows where to find it, so consider leaving it with a trusted advisor, such as your attorney or financial advisor.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-631-0616 if you’d like help drafting an estate planning road map.
Virginia Ryan provides trust, will, probate, and business law services to clients in Maplewood Minnesota, and the surrounding areas of North Oaks, White Bear Lake, Lake Elmo, Grant, Mahtomedi, Dellwood, Woodbury, Oakdale, Roseville, Little Canada, Shoreview, Vadnais Heights, St. Paul, Hugo, Lino Lakes, Stillwater.