Everybody dies, it’s just a matter of when. If you’re prepared for the inevitable, you can do your loved ones a favor and minimize their stress after you go. It’s hard to think about separating from your family forever, but getting your affairs in order before you die is wise.
Below are a few steps you should take to protect your family prior to your death.
Speak to Your Closest Loved Ones
If you’re married, sit down with your spouse to talk about what would happen if you were to pass away unexpectedly. Make sure that everything is in order so that, in the worst-case scenario, your spouse would be taken care of.
It’s also a good idea to make sure that you have copies of important documents such as birth certificates and marriage licenses in case they become lost at some point.
If you don’t have a will prepared, get one written up. You don’t need an attorney to do this, you can typically get a will written up for free online. In your will, make sure that you leave everything to the person of your choosing.
Also, make it clear who should receive what. For example, if you own a car, it makes sense for that car to go to your spouse since they will probably need a car after you pass away.
Consider Your Children
If you have kids, it would be a good idea to sit down with your spouse and discuss how others should go about raising them in the event that something were to happen to both parents. You may want to think about setting up a guardianship arrangement so that the children are looked after by someone trustworthy.
If you have a good relationship with your children, there’s no harm in leaving everything to them. This is especially true if you have adult children. You’ll feel good about establishing their financial future, even in your absence.
Think About Your Property
If you own property, think about how you want your loved ones to take care of it. Do you want them to sell it? Rent it out?
If the situation is complicated, such as if you own yachts and other high-value assets, consider hiring a property manager who can help you plan your estate. And, of course, hiring a professional to assist with estate tax planning is a smart idea.
Finally, if there’s anything else you own, write it down and give a copy to your spouse. The list should include things like frequent flier miles, stock options, businesses, intellectual property rights, etc.
Secure Your Loved Ones
Although estate planning is difficult to think about, it’s one of the best ways to show your loved ones that you truly care about them.
As you know, life can take an unexpected turn at any time. Your goal should be to protect your family in the event that something were to happen to you.
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