Planning Ahead For Those You Leave Behind: 3 Proactive Steps Every Parent & Grandparent Should Take

Posted on: 30 November 2016

Dealing with the loss of a parent or grandparent places an enormous amount of stress on the family members left behind. In many cases, this type of stress leads to arguments and hurt feelings among relatives that can take months or even years to smooth over. If you are a parent or grandparent who would like to help your family avoid this kind of strife, consider taking some of these proactive steps now. Doing so can be the best way to ensure your final wishes are honored while helping to minimize your family's pain upon your death.

Organize important documentation

In addition to the stress of grieving your death, your family members will also need to know what to do about your financial affairs and other important information. To make this easier for them, start now to gather, organize, and store these documents where they can be accessed easily. Consider having both physical and digital copies of this information and keeping copies in a file at home, as well as on a flash drive in a bank safe deposit box or other secure location. This information should include:

  • bank account records, including account numbers, passwords, and contact info for each bank
  • federal, state, and local tax records, for both personal taxes and those related to any businesses you own
  • insurance policies and contact information for the issuing company
  • vehicle titles, registrations, and loan information
  • mortgages, deeds, and other real estate information for any property you own
  • information about any loan or credit obligations you may have

Details about additional information you may want to include in this file is available here.

Make your own funeral arrangements

Another way to help relieve a tremendous burden on your surviving family members is to consider prearranging and prepaying for your own funeral and burial arrangements. By doing this you are not only ensuring that your final arrangements are handled in the way your prefer, you are also keeping your family members from having to make very stressful decisions just hours after you pass.

Set up legal trusts to handle property and other important matters

Taking time now to consult with a reputable real estate attorney to assist with estate planning is another great way to minimize your family's pain and suffering upon your death. When taking this proactive step, consider having your property and assets placed into a trust that will be dispersed per your wishes after die. In addition, remember to also ask your attorney about power of attorney documents, health care directives, and any other end of life planning that will help ensure your wishes are met and your family will not be burdened by paperwork when you pass. Contact a firm like Thomason & Hessmer to learn more.

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