Working in a law firm for many years in the estate planning and probate departments, I found that few people actually plan very little, if at all, for the future when it comes to their death. Having your estate planning in place is very important and you should choose an attorney that specializes in that field. Making things easier for your family and especially for making sure that your wishes are honored does need to be memorialized legally. Also, think about the little things and make a list. This list isn't a part of your estate planning documents, but you could keep them together for simplicity down the line.
My children are grown and I am remarried. I have given direction to a couple of them, those I think are best suited to do these things, so that if something should happen to both me and my hubby at the same time, or he is unable to deal with things at the time, they can do so. They know my final wishes for my cremation and ashes, where to access personal info, we've discussed what they would like to have of a personal nature that I own (and my hubby knows those things, too), etc. It's comforting to know that although in the end, people will do whatever they do, I have still given them some direction if they need it.
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Great advice that most people won't heed, unfortunately. As we handle contents and personal property appraisals for estate dissolution in Florida, we encounter many confused clients. Prior planning makes for less headaches for the kids, folks.
Very good thrifty tip, worth many smaller ones. Thanks!
By OrahLee (Guest Post)
And PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE ! Label your family pictures. We kids don't remember forever either, and when taking care of Mom and Dad's estate, we have another guilt trip when we know that we "ought" to remember who these people are --- and don't. Then comes the time when we "ought" to remember the family stories..... if you don't want to write them out, an even better solution is tape-recording them. To have Mom or Dad's voice tell a story to the generations is priceless.
Remind them occasonally where this info is located! (I speak from experience).
My mother asked everyone what they wanted, then put a sticker with the name on the back of each object. That solved a lot of problems.