Estate planning is always a difficult subject to deal with, because who wants to arrange things for when they die?
In addition to attempting to arrange a spouse's funeral, a grieving person must try to locate the deceased's will, the executor, information on the family's finances and the various family accounts' usernames and passwords.
Starts at 60's recent article entitled “How to take care of your family in life and in death” explains that estate planning is always a difficult subject to deal with, because no one wants to arrange things for when they die.
However, good communication and planning make the life of the surviving spouse and family easier, particularly during the inevitably stressful time of dealing with the death. Let's look at seven key points of estate planning:
Communication. Sharing information is crucial. Both spouses should be aware of the family's investments and advisors. The advisers should also know both clients to help make any transition as seamless as possible. Where one spouse has taken responsibility for the financial affairs, he or she should leave specific instructions concerning who to contact in the event of their death and what steps to be taken.
Bank accounts. It's important to know what bank accounts the couple has, and, importantly, what are the accounts' usernames and passwords. They should also make the executor or adult children aware of the location of the keys to the safety deposit box or the code to the safe at home.
Financial contacts. The couple should divulge important family financial contacts, such as an accountant, estate planning attorney, their insurance broker and financial advisors.
Will. Determine where their wills are kept and if they are up to date. Note the names of the executors. You should also see if the executors are aware they have been named as executors, and if the couple has any power of attorney documents.
Life Insurance. See if the couple has life insurance and note the details of the policy, as well as the agent's contact information.
Other family assets. Your other valuables should be recorded with the specific ownership of each noted and shared with an estate planning attorney. This includes companies, motor vehicles, boats, vacation homes and art collections.
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Reference: Starts at 60 (April 2, 2022) “How to take care of your family in life and in death”