Your death is probably the last thing you want to think about, but you can’t afford not to – especially when you have a family that you will be leaving behind. A wise person once said that the only thing you can count on is death and taxes and they were right. It could be right around the corner or a few decades in the future, but it is something that will get here eventually. Prep your family now for your passing and you will save them the headache and heartache later on.
When you lose someone you love, you are devastated. Even simple decisions can become overwhelming, why not prep your family by outlining your wishes and getting your business in order so there are no surprises when that time comes. Here are three things that you need to prep your family for in case of your death. For help with estate planning and anything else you need to get your family ready for your eventual demise, consider working with a financial advisor.
Family Death Planning: Your Liabilities and Assets
Make a list of bank accounts, retirement accounts, and other assets you may have. Include account numbers and other information they may need in order to access them. Don’t forget your digital assets too, like your social media and other online accounts. They may need to access them once you are gone in order to close them or update anyone on your passing.
Any debts you may have should be listed as well. These debts can include credit cards, mortgages, and even insurances. Since most people using automated bill pay, make a list of any reoccurring payments that come out of your bank account along with contact information for the sources because someone will need to cancel them.
Family Death Planning: Your Instructions
Some people, like my mom, have everything spelled out for their loved ones right up to the wording in the obituary. Although that may be a little extreme, it doesn’t hurt to have everything written down for your loved ones. Everyone needs a will. It doesn’t matter if you are 25 or 75; putting in writing what you want done with your assets is a must.
Things can get sketchy after you go and if you don’t have it in writing, it could mean your loved ones will be left to figure it all out or even worse – may lose the estate to the government all together.
If you have young children, you also need to worry about them as well. Place a concession in your will as to who will care for them in the event of your passing and set up how your estate will provide for them.
Family Death Planning: Difficult Decisions
Do you have any specific instructions when it comes to being kept alive in the event of a serious accident or illness? Make sure that you have a living will in place for your family members. If you don’t want to be left on life support or have extraordinary measures used to save your life, you need to put it in writing.
One of the most difficult decisions anyone would have to make in their life is to choose not to medically continue someone’s life. Having the piece of paper that tells your family what your wishes are can clear up confusion and help make the decision easier for them should something happen.
In addition to these measures, make sure that you put all this information in one place so that when the time comes, your family isn’t searching for important documents. You can store these documents in a fire safe, in a safety deposit box or with a lawyer or estate planner.
Whatever you choose make sure your family knows where it is and how to access it. Making these arrangements now will give you peace of mind and will help your family during that difficult time. Did you already prep your family for your death? Or have you been procrastinating when it comes to this subject? Share with us in the comments below!
The Bottom Line
Though it is a morbid subject, it is important to prepare your family for what should happen when you die. This includes making tough choices about end of life care and making sure everyone knows what should happen with your money and property. Taking care of this now will make sure a difficult time for your family is not made even more difficult due to lack of preparation.
Tips for Estate Planning
- A financial advisor can make the estate planning process much easier. Finding a financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool connects you with financial advisors in your area in five minutes. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors, get started now.
- Consider creating a living trust, which is a fairly easy way to organize your assets for when you die.
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