Planning Your Final Arrangements: Step 1
Yesterday, I began to talk about the importance of making your final arrangements in advance. In our funeral home, we have seen countless families come into our care without having made arrangements in advance. The wear and tear on the family is so much greater than those families who have had things in order.
The first step in planning your final arrangements is to Gather and Organize Documents. This is probably THE most important step in the process. It is important that you family knows where to go to find this important information. Have a place in your home…maybe in a file cabinet…where you gather all of your important documents. Then tell your family where this information is located so that everyone knows where to find it. When your death occurs, your family will need to know all of your vital statistics for the recording of the death certificate. Other information they will need to know about are:
- Locations and account numbers of bank accounts, retirement accounts, credit cards, and life insurance policies.
- Instructions for your funeral and/or cemetery wishes.
- A list of people to be contacted in the event of your death.
- Location of a living will, if one was drawn up.
- A copy of your will.
And that final item is of utmost importance. If you want the state government to become the executor of your estate, then don’t have a will. It’s pure and simple. The only way to avoid probate and the state becoming your executor is to have a will. If you are married, have children, and have any assets at all, you need to have a will.
So step number one is to Gather and Organize Documents. Plan ahead so that your family is ready in the event of your death.
(If you would like a free planning guide to help you with this process, let me know and I’ll get one to you!)