Death is a fact of life. So why do so few of us plan for it? Nearly two-thirds of Americans haven’t done even basic estate planning, according to a recent Forbes article. Thankfully, my father wasn’t among them.
As I discovered after he died, there’s a mountain of legal, financial, and accounting work after a death that nobody tells you about. Did you know that you have to file taxes for someone after they die? Or pay their bills on time to avoid penalties?
Do your family a huge favor and look death in the eye long enough to do these five things:
- Update the contact and beneficiary information in all of your important accounts (retirement, investment, insurances), then set a calendar reminder to check it yearly.
- Take inventory of all your assets and expenses using our template.
- Complete a healthcare proxy with your desired medical/ end-of-life instructions.
- Select someone to serve as executor or trustee to oversee your estate.
- Review your assets and medical wishes with your executor or trustee, then store the information somewhere secure.
Carpe diem. Have you done anything to make your passing easier on your family?