One easy and effective step that I advise all of my clients to take after they sign their estate planning documents is to make their wishes clearly known to their families. Explaining your wishes and why you are distributing your property in a particular way can go a long way to minimize family discord. The best way to do that is by writing your wishes down, in your own words, in a letter to your family. Estate planning documents such as wills, financial and healthcare powers of attorney, and trusts are necessary to ensure your wishes are carried out. But a personal letter to your family letting explaining your wishes can be more effective in preventing family drama than the legal documents themselves.
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