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Estate planning essentials: The “peace of mind” folder

On Behalf of | May 15, 2024 | Will |

Estate planning is the critical process of ensuring asset management and distribution according to your wishes after your death. However, your family, or at least your chosen personal representative, needs to be able to find your estate plan documents.

A special folder or file, sometimes referred to as a “red folder,” can hold your critical information all in one place, making it easier on your family and personal representatives if you become incapacitated or pass away.

Current medical details and treatment preferences

If you have created an advance directive to detail your wishes for your medical care if incapacitated, ensure that it has a safe place in your red folder. Include other details with it, such as:

  • Health conditions: List all diagnoses
  • Medical contacts: Add physician details for quick reference
  • Medications: Note all prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs in use

Consider including a letter clarifying your health care wishes and explaining them to your loved ones.

Personal details and directions

Even if your family knows you well, your final wishes may be unclear. Your file should hold personal information and details that may not be in any of your estate plan documents. Examples include:

  • Funeral, ceremony and interment preferences
  • Credentials for your online accounts and social media
  • Your organ donation preferences

Include directions to ensure your representatives (health care proxy, power of attorney holder, etc.) and family members can locate your legal documents. Remember to keep your red (or whatever color you like) folder secure and inform those who need to know of its location.

By having experienced legal guidance, you can help ensure that you include what you need to in your red folder. This also gives you someone else who has a copy of your estate plan.