Nobody wants to consider the reality that they will no longer be among the living, but that day comes to all of us. There are a few simple steps all of us can take which will make that day easier on our loved ones to settle our affairs at a time of emotional trauma.
Here is a list of a few helpful actions to ease the path for those who will inherit you:
1. Create a file and name it “My Estate Plan” and put it in an easily accessible place in your house. Be sure to keep all the papers together in this one file. This file should include a copy of your will, living trusts, end-of-life instructions, real estate records, and more.
2. Name your executor. This person will be in charge of your estate. Most people name their spouses as their executors, but if this isn’t possible it is usually a child, other close relative, or trusted friend.
3. Make your executor a co-signer on your financial accounts. Choose a secondary executor just in case something should happen to the primary.
4. Rent a safe deposit box and keep copies of your estate planning file in it. Make sure that your primary executor is a co-signer for the safe deposit box, and give him/her the key.
5. Specify what you would like your funeral to look like. Tell your executor what you decided, as well as family and friends.
6. Be sure to keep your estate plan up-to-date. Revise your will whenever something changes in your life.