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April 27, 2016 - Simple Estate Planning Questions You Must Answer

| April 27, 2016

Even though you may not be thinking about your estate yet, there are a few practical matters you don’t want to leave unresolved. Lack of preparation can leave your family scrambling during an already traumatic period. Though it’s not fun to think about death, think of these arrangements as something you do for the ones you love.

Where are the accounts and paperwork?

For your family to benefit from any life insurance and savings you may have set aside, they need to be able to access your accounts and find the related paperwork. Take time now to get all of your financial and legal documents organized in a safe place. Make sure you have passwords and login information for all online accounts documented so they can be accessed after your death. We can help you go through a checklist to help make sure you have everything your family will need.

What kind of memorial service would you like?

Sit down with your family and talk about how you would like to be remembered and what kind of interment and funeral would match your personality. While it may strike you as a grim conversation, we have found that many people take comfort in organizing these details so that their families don’t have to. If there are readings, songs, or special memories you would like shared, it is better to have that conversation with your loved ones than assume they already know how you would like them to proceed.

Who is authorized to make decisions for you?

A durable power of attorney and a health care power of attorney (sometimes included in an advanced health care directive) are two of the most important documents in your estate strategies. In these documents, you’ll name trusted agents to step in and make decisions for your finances and your medical care. Without advance preparations, decisions about your finances and medical care will be made according to the laws in your state. It’s not uncommon for friction to occur between family members when there are different treatment options or financial decisions to consider. Choosing trusted proxies in advance can help you avoid creating conflict in the family and help ensure that your wishes are followed when you are no longer capable of making decisions for yourself.

How we can help?

As financial professionals, we work with our clients to help ensure they are prepared for unforeseen circumstances. Though we are not attorneys, we work closely with a network of experienced legal professionals who can help you ensure that you have your core legal documents in order. If you have questions about organizing your finances or making estate preparations, please give us a call.