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The ultimate gift you can give your loved ones is a “Family Love Letter.”
This document ensures that your family has adequate information regarding your affairs. It organizes the paper trail you’ve created over your lifetime giving your loved ones the insight and direction they need. You may have completed your estate planning documents, wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and have life and long-term care insurance, but have you had a discussion with your loved ones about those documents and contracts? Decisions will need to be made upon your death, if you become disabled, or need long-term care. Without a Family Love Letter, families often struggle over “what to do,” experience conflict, overlook assets or make costly, and often, irrevocable mistakes.
Preparing a Family Love Letter is not easy to do. It requires completing an in-depth list of information regarding your affairs and having frank discussions with those you love about what to do upon your death or incapacity. Preparation of a Family Love Letter can dramatically impact how you are remembered, but many people avoid doing this prior to it being too late.
Thanksgiving may not be the best time to have an in-depth discussion with your family on these matters, however, my advice is that you at least prepare your loved ones for having this important discussion with them in the near future.
For example, when everyone is together bring up how grateful you are for your good health, being together as a family, and that your time together is a blessing. But, also mention that the timing of your death or disability is out of your control and that you are planning to put together a Family Love Letter to alleviate any unnecessary anxiety. Let your family know that you are bringing this topic up to reduce the confusion and stress that almost always accompanies a loved ones death or disability. Your family members will appreciate your good intentions of having estate planning documents, life and long-term care insurance, financial assets, etc. so much more if you discuss these with them while you are still capable of doing so.
Not too long ago my mother passed away. She prepared us for her death. She had her affairs in order, right down to the hymns and the English grammar school song she wanted played at her funeral service. She even had a list of which of her personal items were the most valuable and how she wanted my siblings and me to disperse those possessions. It was as if she was there guiding our way, although she was no longer with us. I will always cherish the conversation she and I had discussing life, death and her final intentions.
I welcome questions by you and your family members. If you would like to receive our Family Love Letter booklet to guide you through this experience, please contact me today.
Warmest wishes for a happy Thanksgiving.
Created with thought-provoking sections, tables and fill-in-the-blanks on everything from your professional advisor’s contact information, to the passwords on your computer, to what you would like to be remembered for, the Family Love Letter Booklet is an indispensable planning tool. To receive your FREE copy, please contact Fahmy & Associates by calling us at 703-760-4630. Supply is limited, so call now.
— Ken Fahmy
CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® CHARTERED LIFE UNDERWRITER CHARTERED FINANCIAL CONSULTANT