As an estate planning and elder law firm, we advise all of our clients about the importance of creating advance directives and keeping them up to date. However, it is equally important to let your love ones, physicians and financial advisors know that you have created these documents—and, where to find them.
If your documents are stored on your computer, do your loved ones have the file name or password necessary to access them? If you’ve placed your planning documents in a safe, do your loved ones know the combination? If nobody can find your documents, they are about as valuable as the paper they are written on.
In addition to making sure your loved ones can access your advance directives, you should consider telling them about your wishes directly, particularly the manner in which you want to be cared for in an end-of-life situation. We understand how difficult it is to begin a conversation of this nature, and can help you find the best ways to broach the topic with your loved ones. Experience tells us that families who are able to open up in this manner draw closer together and feel a sense of relief afterwards.