Things You May Do In Advance To Prepare
Pre-Plan Funeral Arrangements
Speak with your family and the funeral director of your choice. Today, more and more folks are pre-planning their funeral arrangements. Pre-planning has many advantages, the most important being peace of mind, knowing that your wishes have been made known. You can choose to pre-pay or just pre-plan, but which ever you choose, doing it as soon as possible is best. Click on the Pre-Need button on your left for further explanation.
Life Insurance Protection
Almost every family provider feels obligated to have adequate life insurance. Speak with any knowledgeable life insurance agent, and he will advise you on the types and coverage available. Please put your policies in a safe place, and notify your beneficiaries of where they are located. It is also important to speak to your attorney or banker, and set up a special fund to handle the transitional stage between the time of death, and the time the insurance is paid. There are many times that your bank accounts and safe deposit boxes will be "frozen" until your estate is settled.
Prepare a Will
Everyone should have a will, regardless of the size of your estate. Make an appointment with your attorney, and have him prepare a will for you. Once you have your will prepared, be aware that every few years, you and your attorney should get together to make sure your will is up to date. A properly prepared will enables you to direct the administration of your affairs after death. Should you die in testate (without a will), your property and holdings will be distributed according to your state laws. An administrator will be appointed by a court, and that person may not handle things as you had planned.
Appoint an Executor
One of the most important concerns when drawing your will is to name your executor. It is that persons responsibility to see that the provisions of your will are carried out. Your executor should be someone with experience and a "seasoned" judgment to make the right decisions.
Reduce your Estate Taxes
A competent attorney or estate planner can advise you on specific methods of reducing your estate taxes. These taxes can be a great burden on your survivors, and they will appreciate your forethought on careful planning. These plans can prevent your beneficiaries from having to hastily sell the family home or business or other primary assets at an unfavorable time. Depending on your situation, you may find it to your advantage to adopt other legal forms of ownership, other then joint tenancy. Again, your attorney will be of great assistance in these matters.