Estate planning and Dealing with Death on the Personal Side  

A life worth of assets can leave behind a legacy for your future generations. To protect your assets and your family, you can plan your estate and fulfill all of your final wishes with a last will and testament. Below, we’ll discuss how you can prepare and guide you through the process step by step.

 

Step 1. Gathering Documents

Before starting the process of estate planning, you should first gather all documents that pertain to your assets. That includes all documents that deal with property, titles, certificates, and more. Along with information about your assets, you’ll also want to gather information about your health and insurance providers, creating a bigger picture plan for your assets.

 

Step 2. Create your Last Will and Testament

Without a will, your assets could be left for the law to decide how they’re handled. Creating a will gives you control over how your assets are dispersed and to whom they are awarded.

You can name an executor to make sure that all your wishes are fulfilled and beneficiaries that receive your assets in the event of your death. This document will help you take care of all of your loved ones (including children, pets, and your spouse) in the event of your death.

 

Step 3. Designate Medical Decisions

Though we might not like to think about it, the unexpected can happen at any time. If you’re involved in an accident and unable to make decisions for yourself, it’s best to have someone you trust that can make those decisions for you.

Creating a living will and naming a medical power of attorney, you can give a loved one permission to make critical decisions, ones that involve things like breathing tubes, feeding tubes, and resuscitation.

 

Step 4. Choose a Power of Attorney

Apart from designating medical decisions, you’ll also need to find someone that will act as your power of attorney. When someone steps up and acts as your power of attorney, they will have the responsibility of making sure things go as planned and that all of your final wishes are fulfilled.

They will initiate probates that discuss your assets and make sure that all of your life’s assets are secured and distributed as you had planned.

 

Step 5.  Create a Living Trust

If you have a substantial amount of assets and you want to bypass probate and avoid taxes, a living trust could be your best option. With a living trust, you can choose a successor and pass down all of your properties, giving them the power to designate as per your wishes.

This can not only keep your assets away from taxes but keep your affairs personal and void them from both creditors and lawsuits.

 

 Step 6. Keep Beneficiaries Up to Date

In the event that you die without naming a beneficiary for your life insurance, all of your assets go toward your estate where they are subject to taxes. If you name no beneficiaries for your assets and have a will, then they could become the property of your closest relative or the state.

It’s important to keep your beneficiaries up to date and, if they unexpectedly pass, change the beneficiary so your assets are secured.

 

Step 7. Secure your Digital Footprint

In the age of technology, most of us have some sort of online presence. Whether we have websites, social media pages, or even banking accounts online, you’ll need to find someone to manage or delete them upon your death.

To do so, you may need to visit your account and fill out some simple forms, though it takes little to no time to feel at ease.

 

Step 8. Make Arrangements

Though it might be gloomy to think about, planning your final arrangements can bring about some peace of mind. You can share your final wishes and put forth any arrangements you want to be sure to complete, including organ donations and your funeral plans.

 

Step 9. Make Copies

Your last will and testament is a legal document, one that serves as a binding order for your final wishes and distribution of assets. Because it’s legal and binding, you want to make sure to have copies of everything.

Keep your written statements, documents, and all official records in one place, and be sure to have multiple copies that you can share with your loved ones and those involved in your final arrangements.

 

Step 10. Discuss with Loved Ones

Making arrangements for your final days doesn’t have to be a sad thing. As a matter of fact, you’re likely to walk away with peace of mind, knowing that your assets and loved ones are taken care of. To make sure that things go as planned and that all are on the same page, be sure to discuss with loved ones.

That means talking over your final wishes, distribution of your assets, and what you would like if there is a medical emergency. It will create relief and security for all of those who are closest to you in your life, preparing them for unexpected events.

 

Step 11. Keep Everything Up to Date

Even though you have all of your paperwork together and organized, you’ll still need to keep everything in order and update everything when things change. Each new will and testament that you create will void the previous one, so if you have any changes to make, it’s simple to do.

 

Keep your Assets and Loved Ones Protected

Thinking about what will happen when you’re gone is the ultimate way to secure your family and all of your assets. You can find ways to secure your investments and avoid taxes and fees by discussing your options with a professional.

Sim specializes in estate planning and personal finance, helping clients get the most out of the things they’ve worked so hard for. Try out a consultation and learn what options are best for you and your situation, resting at ease that you’ve taken steps to secure your financial future.

 

FAQs & Helpful Resources Regarding Life Insurance for Estate Planning