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5 Tips for Getting Your Estate in Order

If you want to make things easier on your surviving family members, it is important to organize your estate. The time you spend taking care of things now will help your loved ones deal with the difficulty of losing you. It will also ensure that your wishes will be carried out. Below are a few tips on ways you can organize your estate:

  1. Create an estate plan. Having a will, trust, and other estate planning documents allows you to ensure that your loved ones are protected and your estate doesn’t go to pay taxes and is not subject to unnecessary expense. Your estate plan should include a living will that sets forth your medical wishes if you are unable to make those decisions for yourself. It should also include a power of attorney that allows a trusted individual to make personal, legal or financial decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated.
  2. Designate beneficiaries. If you have bank accounts or other types of accounts that allow you to name a “pay on death” beneficiary, it is imperative that you designate beneficiaries for each account.
  3. Draft a letter of instructions. It is extremely helpful for your loved ones to have instructions regarding your funeral wishes, people you want notified of your death, and where your important financial records can be located. It is important to list any passwords or other information necessary to access your financial records. You may want to consider preplanning your funeral so the process is less stressful for your family.
  4. Life insurance. It is important to obtain or update your life insurance, which provides your loved ones with an immediate source of funds. Be very careful about the beneficiary designations so that the life insurance is included in your estate plan.
  5. Review pensions, 401(k)s or IRAs. You want to make sure you have taken care of beneficiary arrangements so your survivors receive the benefits they are entitled to. These beneficiary designations must be part of your estate plan and your estate planning attorney should guide you in these decisions.

There are many other items that must be taken care of, but the above tips will give you a starting place. To learn more about estate planning or asset protection tools, contact us to schedule your appointment.

The Astill Law Office has provided high quality legal services for over 30 years. We specialize in wills, trusts, estate planning, and asset protection. If you have any questions about creating a Trust, Will, or estate planning in general, contact The Astill Law Office at 801-438-8698.