Preparing for the end of life is tough to think about, but making sure your estate plan is up to date will enable your family to grieve without having to worry about finances or managing other obligations.
If you are married or have a partner, having your financial affairs in order can provide solace to your significant other during a difficult time. Although everyone hopes to live a long life, unexpected events can occur at any moment. It’s important that you carefully consider who will carry out your wishes and that they are aware of your financial circumstances.
This means telling your chosen personal representative, spouse or friend where important documents such as your will, tax return, military discharge papers, real estate deeds, and the like are located. Providing account passwords and/or contact information for digital files, life insurance policies, annuities, bank accounts, retirement plans and electronic bill payments will ensure nothing is overlooked in the estate settlement process. Preparing for the end of life is about more than just creating a will and deciding on burial versus cremation; ensuring that your finances are organized and accessible is equally important.
While many people focus on who will get a treasured family heirloom, “Your legacy is not just about what you leave, but how you leave it,” said Lorrie Leonard, CFP®, Vice president and Relationship Manager at Rockland Trust.
Regardless of when you start planning and depending on your current stage of life, there are important considerations, such as whether or not you have small children or grandchildren that will impact your plans. Below are some steps to help guide you as you get started:
Developing an estate plan
Appoint someone you trust and who you know has your best interests in mind. This person (or persons) should be organized and have time to carry out paying bills and handling other financial matters.
If you have questions about end-of-life financial planning, a Rockland Trust Certified Financial Planner can help.
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