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Location, Location, Location!

Location, Location, Location!

Safeguarding your Legacy: The Importance of Informing Your Family About the Location of Your Estate Planning Documents


In the whirlwind of life, it’s easy to overlook critical aspects of planning for the future, such as creating a comprehensive estate plan. However, simply having these documents in place is not enough. Equally important is ensuring that your loved ones know where to find them when the need arises. As an Arizona estate planning attorney with over 25 years of experience in this area, I cannot stress enough the importance of communicating the location of your estate planning documents to your family members. Here’s why:

  1. Timely Access. In times of emergency, quick access to your estate planning documents is crucial. These documents, including your will, your trust, your powers of attorney, your mental healthcare directives, and your healthcare directives, provide critical guidance on how to manage your affairs and distribute your assets according to your wishes. Without timely access, your loved ones may face unnecessary delays and complications in handling your affairs.
  1. Avoiding Confusion and Disputes. Failure to locate your estate planning documents in a timely manner can lead to confusion and disputes among your family members. Emotions are already heightened during these times of distress, and uncertainty about your wishes can exacerbate tensions. By clearly communicating the whereabouts of your documents, you help mitigate the risk of misunderstandings and disagreements among your loved ones.
  1. Protecting Your Assets. Your estate planning documents not only outline how your assets should be distributed but may also contain valuable information about your financial accounts, insurance policies, and other important details. By ensuring that your family knows where to find these documents, you help safeguard your legacy and protect the financial well-being of your family.
  1. Facilitating Personal Representative and Trustee Duties. If you’ve appointed a Personal Representative (Arizona’s term for executor) to administer your will or a trustee to manage your trust, they will need access to the relevant documents to fulfill their duties effectively. By informing them of the location of these documents in advance, you empower them to carry out their responsibilities efficiently and in accordance with your wishes.
  1. Peace of Mind. Lastly, ensuring that your family knows the location of your estate planning documents provides you with peace of mind. Knowing that your affairs are in order and that your loved ones are equipped to handle them can alleviate stress and worry, allowing you to focus on enjoying life to the fullest.

In conclusion, communicating the location of your estate planning documents to your family is a crucial step in protecting your legacy and ensuring a smooth transition of assets after your passing. I encourage you to take the time necessary to discuss this important matter with your loved ones and update them as needed. It’s a simple yet invaluable act that can make a world of difference during an emergency situation.


Need help? Please call me today – 602.277.7000

John EvenOur firm has helped hundreds of families just like yours handle a wide variety of estate planning, business planning, probate, trust, and elder law issues. When families or business owners are not getting along, we can also handle any disputes and litigation related to their businesses, wills, trusts, guardianships, or conservatorships. Please give me a call, so that I can help you work through these difficult issues with confidence.

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    • "John is an excellent wordsmith, and did a great job of putting my thoughts, ideas, and issues into a clear legal document. I have known and worked with him for 25 years on business issues, including business purchases, of two companies and then selling them for retirement. He is also a delightful person to work with and has an excellent group of to-workers."  -Estate Planning May 3, 2018

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