Regardless of your age, you need to get your affairs in order. This helps to protect your loved ones in the event of your passing, letting them know how to handle your estate and what your wishes were in regards to your assets. Here are some tips for getting started with the process.
Get Your Documents Together
You probably have a lot of financial, personal, and legal documents scattered around or filed in various places. Make sure you have copies of these documents in one place and let someone know where they are. This helps your loved ones figure out what your wishes were and how to find important documents after you pass. Otherwise, it can make arrangements more difficult and cause confusion and chaos during a time that is already difficult for them. You can either tell a spouse, close friend, or your lawyer where these documents are. It should include documents like your will and testament, living will, power of attorney, financial power of attorney, medical directive, social security card, marriage certificate, and financial documents.
Write a Will
A will is very important, and too often is only done by older adults who feel their time left is short. No matter how old you are, there is a chance you could get a fatal illness or be involved in a serious car accident. Protect your loved ones by having a will written up now. It should name a beneficiary and include information about what happens to your different assets, such as giving your spouse the home you live in and your children a certain amount of financial assets when they reach adulthood. The will also names a guardian for your children if something happens to both you and your spouse. Your lawyer can help you get the will written and will present it to your family after you pass.
Make a Master List of Locked-Up Items
When your family arrives at your home after you pass, they might be looking for certain items. For example, they might not know where your valuable jewelry is or have questions about your birth certificate. Items that are locked up separately from your other documents should be listed on a master list that is given to just one trusted person. That way, if they need to find these items and get the key to unlock the safe deposit box or home safe, they can do so after you pass.
Speaking to a lawyer beforehand can help you with getting your affairs in order, whether you need to have a will written up or gather important financial records for your family.