Planning for death can be a scary and daunting task. When thinking about
what may happen after a person passes away, many people will think of
wills and other
estate planning documents. However, basic estate planning documents may not cover all
of the decisions a person's loved ones may have to make after a death.
By planning ahead with the help of a skilled estate planning attorney,
you can make this difficult time for your loved ones as easy as possible.
Planning for What to Do Outside of the Will
Keeping information clear and organized can be a valuable way to help loved
ones after your death. From simple matters to complex financial concerns,
respecting the wishes of the deceased will be on the minds of family and
friends, and in order to best assist with these matters, ensuring that
loved ones are aware of issues outside the will can be helpful. If organized,
it can provide a clear outline of steps that those grieving can follow
to ease this transition.
Some issues that may concern a loved one include:
- Where can the will or trust be found?
- What kind of funeral or memorial service is preferred?
- Who should be notified of the death?
- How should the funeral be arranged?
- Where are life insurance, pension, and other documents kept?
- Where are financial records and safety deposit boxes kept?
- Are there stocks and bonds that the family should know of?
- Where can precious items of family history be found?
For example, detailing what you may look for in your funeral allows family
members to provide exactly what you were seeking without worrying too
much about the specifics. This gives them peace of mind when making these
Of more importance is avoiding the loss of financial benefits and family
heirlooms. If the heirs could not be found, these items may pass be lost
forever. It is estimated unclaimed property puts millions of dollars into
state treasuries each year.
Ensuring that family members know how to find and access this information
is important. By keeping this information in a safe place where loved
ones know where to access it, you can prepare your loved ones for your
death and provide the best possible transition for your family.
An estate planning lawyer can help make sure that all of these details are taken care of and advise
how to alert loved ones of these preparations.