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How Can I Relieve My Family’s Stress When I Die?

An Estate Planning Nightmare
In this article, we discuss seven specific ways that you can make life easier for your loved ones after you die.

After losing a family member, people experience pain and grief. The situation gets worse if legal issues are involved, possibly resulting in family conflicts. Such challenges are typically the result of a lack of planning by the now deceased loved one, says Scubby’s recent article entitled “7 Ways To Ease Your Loved Ones’ Suffering After You Die.” It should be no surprise to anyone that Beck & Lenox Estate Planning and Elder Law is a huge advocate on preplanning in order to avoid problems. You may ask, “How can I relieve my family’s stress when I die?” Let’s look at some ways to do that.

  1. Create an Estate Plan. This is the first step you can take in making your family’s life easier. Your heirs will inherit your estate after you die. If you don’t have a written estate plan, it can be more difficult.
  2. Maintain a Binder for Documents. Store all of your important documents and information in a master document binder or some other system. Include important documents and information about your bank accounts, credit cards, investment accounts and information about your digital assets, such as emails, online banking, social media accounts and any other digital assets that you own. You should also give information that your family will need to access these documents and information.
  3. Buy Life Insurance. It’s smart to purchase life insurance as part of your basic estate plan. The loss of a family member can result in confusion, worry and anxiety regarding finances. Those left behind can sometimes wonder how to pay for necessities after a family member dies, so an insurance policy can solve that problem. This will give your family a financial cushion that will provide them with some breathing room.
  4. Write An Instruction Letter. A last letter of instructions for your family is smart, in addition to your estate plan. This gives you the chance to express your love and affection to each of your family members. You can also state where you want to be buried or if you’d like to be cremated, and what kind of memorial service you would like. Your testament doesn’t appear in this document. It only lets you state your final wishes about each of these matters. It has no real legal significance.
  5. Prepare Them Emotionally. It’s hard to comprehend the truth of death for you and your family. They’ll go through the grieving period without you, and to help them emotionally, you can honor the people in your life who matter most; offer an apology to those you have hurt; and/or forgive your loved ones, if they have hurt you.
  6. Pre-plan Your Funeral. To ease the burden on your family at your death, pre-plan your funeral. This means you’ve made your funeral arrangements and chosen what you want as part of your funeral services.
  7. Collect Important Documents and Contact Information. Organize important documents in a folder. This should include info on bank accounts, mortgages, insurance policies, employer contact information, estate planning, safe combinations and Social Security information. Make a list of close friends and family members, including their contact info, for your loved ones to contact in the event of your death.

This list of things you can do to ease the burden on your family cover key actions. There may be additional steps you should take for your particular situation.

Your estate planning attorney can be of tremendous help in reviewing your estate plan and making sure it is up-to-date as you would want. If you do not have an attorney, Beck & Lenox can service those individuals in Missouri and Illinois. Contact us online for help.

Reference: Scubby “7 Ways To Ease Your Loved Ones’ Suffering After You Die”

 

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