Presented by: Bradford & Holliman, Estate Planning
Grandparents Day is September 13. If you are lucky enough to have grandparents who are alive, give them a call (maybe even by video!), send a card or letter, or go visit them… from a healthy distance. Find ways to help them whether it is running errands or organizing old photos or organizing their estate paperwork.
No matter how young or old grandparents are, they need to have their “affairs in order,” particularly with a pandemic attacking people of all ages. And that paperwork needs to be readily available to your grandparents’ power of attorney and future executors. Ask your grandparents to explain their plans so you can learn, and if possible, read the plans yourself making sure that the primary and backup representatives on healthcare powers of attorney, trust documents, and wills are still willing and able to serve.
We advise clients to review their estate plans every three to five years because new descendants are born, family members divorce, chronic illnesses develop, or family members die. One couple’s wills designated three couples as guardians and backups for their two minor sons; five years later, two of the couples had divorced, and the wife in the third couple had died. These changes impacted their executors and healthcare power of attorneys as well as their guardian plans.
Depending on the health and availability of your parents or aunts and uncles, your grandparents may want to consider designating adult grandchildren to key roles in their estate plans. Many wills designate the spouse as the executor, but if a couple dies in a bad car wreck, the backup representatives should be ready to step in. Many experienced estate attorneys now work with clients via video conferences, email, and phone calls. You might be the right technology-savvy grandkid to help your grandparents update their estate plans now.
And as an adult yourself, check your own estate plan as well – power of attorney, living will, healthcare directive, will or trust with designated guardians if you have minor children. Next, make sure your representatives have current lists of medications, allergies to medications, preferred doctors, copies of insurance cards, and more. These activities are seriously needed and can make a dent in any cabin fever you or your grandparents may have due to staying at home more.
-Melanie B. Holliman, JD
Partner at Bradford & Holliman
Estate Planning, Trusts & Special Needs
No representation is made that the quality of the legal service to be performed is greater than the quality of service performed by other lawyers.