Planning your estate in advance is the best way to ensure that your assets are distributed as you see fit. By planning your estate in advance, you eliminate the possibility that the government will have to step in and handle the estate as they see it. Here are a couple important things to consider when planning your estate.
Get A Will Made With A Professional Attorney
Anyone that passes away without a will leaves their assets in a state of uncertainty, and there is the possibility that the assets may be dispersed by the government. Sitting down with an estate planning attorney, such as those at Stuart W. Moskowitz, Esq., CPA, you will go over all the assets that you have built up over your life and determine, in one legal document, where they will be distributed after all the appropriate taxes and leans have been paid.
Leave A Blueprint For Finances & Bills
When you pass away, the executor of the will have to clear out the remaining bank accounts and money owed to you. You should have one document that lists all the banks that you deal with on a regular basis and list the account numbers so they can be accessed by the state after you pass away. Make sure to list all the credit cards, cable companies and services that you get a bill for on a monthly basis so that they can be notified at the time of death to stop billing. You will also need to include all your tax information, as taxes will have to be settled with the government before the estate can be closed. If you don't leave a document with this information, there could be hidden accounts that the state doesn't know about that could complicate the closing of the estate and delay the distribution of your assets to loved ones.
Sit Down With A Funeral Director To Plan Your Funeral
To alleviate the stress of having to plan a funeral after your pass, you should sit down with a funeral director and go over the type of funeral service you want. Let the director know if you want a religious service and if you wish to be buried or cremated. In the event that you wish to be buried, you will need to purchase a cemetery plot and possibly a headstone to commemorate the grave site. Make sure that the funeral services are clearly laid out to the executor of the will and that the funeral is pre-paid for to prevent any hold ups on closing your estate after you pass.
Following the steps outlined above will help to ensure that your estate affairs are in order and that there is everything is clearly outlined. Sitting down with a professional attorney that specializes in estate planning is the first step to get a clear understanding of exactly what you need to do.