The 10 Last Best Things You Can Do for Loved Ones

9:49 pm Estate Planning

number 102 The 10 Last Best Things You Can Do for Loved OnesDeath is something no one likes to think about and far too few of us plan for – yet everyone will do it.  And leaving grieving loved ones with a lot of extra work and confusion is probably not something most of us would want to leave as our legacy.  Here are 10 of the last best things you can do for your loved ones now, before you pass:

1.  Make a will.  Don’t make your family have to drag through an expensive court proceeding where a judge who never knew you will have to decide how to divvy things up.

2.  Sign a health care power of attorney.  Make your decisions now on how or if you want to health care providers to treat you in case you become incapacitated, and choose someone you trust to respect your decisions on end-of-life care.

3.  Plan your funeral.  Do you want to be cremated or buried?  Yes or no to a viewing?  Make these decisions now and let your loved ones know.

4.  Plan your estate.  Will there be taxes on your estate and how will your heirs pay them?  What do you want to happen to your house?  Should you put your assets in trust to protect them for future generations?  Meet with an estate planning attorney and get all these things squared away.

5.  Make a list.  Let loved ones know where they can find your will and powers of attorney, the key to your safety deposit box, your email and online accounts and password information and other important papers.

6.  Gather important paperwork.  Get your deed, car title, insurance policies, pensions, bank account information, CDs and bonds and put them in a file for your family.

7.  Update your address book.  Be sure you have current addresses for friends and family members who live far away as well as contact information for your estate planning attorney and accountant.

8.  Stop hiding things.  If you hide jewelry or cash in your home, find a better place for it and let family members know where it can be found or those things may be gone for good after you are.

9.  Share your history.  One of the greatest gifts we can pass on are our family memories and history, so don’t let yours die with you.

10.  Make amends.  If you’re on the outs with family members, mend fences now before it’s too late.

The last best thing you can do for yourself is to have a comprehensive estate plan and tax strategy in place.  Contact our Newport Beach law firm for help.

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