Other Tips On Wills (Funeral Instructions and Inventories)

Funeral Instructions: Funeral instructions are very important directives to children and loved ones. They should be detailed and in writing. These instructions take a lot of the emotional decisions that would need to be made by your children and loved ones.

However, I do not recommend that people place their funeral instructions in their will. Although both involve death, a will and funeral instructions have two entirely different purposes. Due to this difference in purposes, a will may not be opened until weeks or months after a death. By then, it will be too late to carry out your funeral instructions if they are hidden in a will.

Inventories: I recommend to all clients that they keep written updated inventories of their assets and debts. These lists should include phone numbers, account numbers, and addresses of all banks, investments, and insurance (life, auto, homeowner’s, fire, disability, etc.). It is important to keep this list updated and you should let multiple people named in the will know where the list is located. This list can help your legatees and executors greatly in accounting for all assets and debts.

However, I do not recommend that clients inventory every asset in their will. It is important to remember that estates change considerably over time. Banking accounts, insurance, and investments may no longer exist.

If you are interested in executing a will, powers of attorney or living will, you should consult an experienced estate planning attorney.