In the article "Things often forgotten in an estate plan" by Rhondra Sogren from the Catholic Register, key aspects of estate planning that are frequently overlooked are highlighted:
Sentimental Value of Personal Property: The article underscores the importance of addressing items with sentimental value in estate plans. It cites the example of Roberto Goodman's estate, where a dispute arose over gold cufflinks not explicitly mentioned in his Will, leading to family disputes.
Communication with Loved Ones: It's advised to discuss plans for distributing personal property with family members, as they may attach significant emotional value to certain items.
Hidden Items: The article suggests informing a loved one or an Estate Trustee about any hidden items, like valuables buried under a tree, to ensure they are accounted for.
Funeral and Burial Wishes: Including specific funeral and burial wishes separately from your Will can provide peace of mind for your loved ones. This should cover aspects like the type of funeral service, songs to be sung, burial or cremation preferences, and financial arrangements for these services.
Communicating Final Wishes: The final recommendation is to communicate your wishes clearly to your loved ones, as it is the only way they will know your preferences.
For a more comprehensive understanding, you can read the full article here.
My Comments and Feedback
The article offers vital insights into the nuances of estate planning, particularly the emotional aspects often overlooked in legal documentation. The emphasis on sentimental value and the potential for family discord if not properly addressed is a crucial takeaway. Additionally, the article’s focus on clear communication and pre-planning for final arrangements is a reminder of the comprehensive nature of estate planning. It encourages individuals to consider all aspects, tangible and intangible, to ensure their legacy is handled as intended, minimizing the burden on loved ones.