I want to carry out your wishes
Even if you are clear about the values you're seeking to instill, you must also take the necessary estate planning steps. Did you know that one in five people who are 72 and older don't have a will, as a recent Caring.com Opens in new window survey found? Do you have one?
A will is the cornerstone of an estate plan because it lays out how you want your estate to be divided among your heirs. Without one, the state will decide how your assets should be divided. I hope you've taken the step of consulting with an estate planning attorney to draft a will that takes into account all of your goals. If you haven’t already, you should consider whom you would like to be the executor of your estate, to help manage it after you're gone.
In addition, you may want to consider setting up a revocable trust that can help your heirs avoid the time-consuming and costly probate process.
Help our family stay united
I know how proud you are of Katie, who has dedicated her life to social work and made the financial sacrifice to do so. Simon has come through for you by taking a leave of absence from his job to care for you. Because I have a lucrative law career and have not needed to take a hiatus, I will understand if you want to leave Katie and Simon more of your wealth.
“This letter isn't meant to cause any discomfort. Its purpose is to start an important conversation so I can understand your wishes and see if you need any help in reaching your goals.”
Whatever your plan, I hope you will communicate it clearly to everyone, along with the reasoning behind your decision, which will potentially help to avoid any disagreements or rifts in the family — something I'm sure you don't want to be your lasting legacy.
What kind of care do you want?
In addition to your money and other assets, we must also address your medical care and what types of treatments you want if you are no longer able to communicate your wishes. There are many medical advances now, but you may not want aggressive interventions to prolong your life. We want to honor whatever wishes you have.
To do that, I need to make sure you have a medical power of attorney, a document that allows someone else to make medical decisions for you and have access to your medical information. Usually that job goes to a family member, but maybe you'd prefer to ask someone outside of the family. It's up to you.
Additionally, an advanced directive or living will spells out your health care wishes in advance; it’s an excellent guide, for whomever you choose as your power of attorney, to ensure they're making decisions in accordance with your wishes.
In closing, I hope you understand this letter comes from a place of love. As you are thinking about your legacy and what medical care you want at the end of your life, let us help you make those wishes a reality.
With love and gratitude,