When a loved one passes away, the last thing you want to think about are logistical arrangements and financial decisions. That’s why preparing for the future now can make it easier to deal with what might seem like mundane arrangements during your time of grief.
Begin a letter of instructions
No one likes thinking about their own passing, but at the same time, your loved ones wouldn’t want to leave you in the dark when you are without them. This is where a letter of instructions can be helpful. This isn’t a legal document, but instead, personal information regarding their estate and even directions about how to handle certain personal affairs after passing.
Examine all debts
Debt can be uncomfortable to discuss, even among family. But if your loved one passes, you may be saddled with their debts like credit cards and personal loans, depending on the state that you live in and your relationship. At the very least, it’s likely money from their estate will be used to pay off debts before the estate’s assets are divided. Therefore, it may be best to have the debt conversation now so you can get a full picture of what might be owed in case your loved one passes.
Gather important documents
It may seem odd to think about the passing of your parents or spouse right now, but the first thing you might consider is that it will be important to have access to important financial and personal documents to make logistics easier. Start now by organizing documents such as:
- Trust and will documents
- Estate documents
- Real estate deeds
- Car titles
- Lease agreements
- Credit card and loan account information
You may need help from both an attorney and financial professional to ensure all documents are legally valid, which can help avoid headaches later.
Talk about life insurance
Life insurance is one way that a loved one can pass wealth down to their heirs. If your spouse or parent already has health insurance, make sure to understand their policy, what’s covered, and what you can reasonably expect upon their passing. If they don’t have a policy, discuss the pros and cons of adding a policy now.
Compile a list of important online accounts
These days, almost all business and financial transactions are conducted online. So it can be extremely helpful to have a comprehensive list of bank, credit card, and other important online accounts. Secure this list in a safe place so that you can retrieve it when the time comes. Having this list can help you manage logistics when the time comes.
Prepare now to stay ahead of the game
The more preparation you take today, the easier it can be when your loved one is no longer here. So, don’t be afraid to begin those conversations about future plans and finances so that everyone is on the same page and you don’t have headaches later, on top of grief. If you feel overwhelmed getting started, reach out to us directly to schedule a meeting or ask a question. We’re here to help every step of the way.