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Ask Dave

How Much Should I Share With the Executer of My Will?

Mike wants to know how much he should share with the executor of his will. Dave goes into the matter deeply.

QUESTION: Mike in Pennsylvania wants to know how much he should share with the executor of his will. Dave goes into the matter deeply.

ANSWER: You should share everything. Share completely what your intent is. If you are going to let them handle your whole life after you’re dead, you need to be willing to share it with them now.

Don’t give them bank account numbers, but share everything that is in the will. Share what you are asking them to do. Tell them that you want them to do this with the kids, do this with this account and this with that account. Tell them you have this much in mutual funds and so on, and just give them dollar amounts.

You can just tell them where the drawer is located and where everything is: your Legacy Box. Tell them that it’s all right there and you’ll be ready to go. They can find your life insurance in there, how much is in your bank account and investments, this much is owed on the mortgage.

Tell them that if it’s several years from now and you haven’t updated them, there will be an updated sheet in that drawer when you open it so they know what they are getting into. In the will it should say what to do with the money.

The dramatic reading of the will that always happens in the movies, that’s just a movie script. In real life, you need to have a reading of the will with the parties involved while you’re alive. Just tell everyone that this is what your estate plan says and that’s what you expect, and it will be written down. The conversation you have with them is the same thing that’s written down. If they want to argue about it, do it while you’re here. By the way, there’s no argument since it’s your stuff. That’s the end of the conversation and you can do whatever the flip you want to do with it. Don’t surprise people with anything after your death.