Let’s face it: Nobody really enjoys making their estate plans. Contemplating one’s own mortality isn’t usually the most pleasant of tasks.
Avoid it too long, however, and you’re virtually guaranteed to leave your estate a mess for your heirs to sort through once you’re gone. If you want to make it easier for your loved ones to cope after your death, here are some things to do:
Clean out your excess possessions.
Your bank accounts, properties and other assets aren’t the hardest things your heirs will have to handle. Instead, that’s likely to be sorting through all of your varied possessions. If you’ve accumulated a lifetime’s worth of documents and mementos, consider clearing them out now so that your loved ones don’t have to do that while they’re also coping with their grief.
Clearly define how your legacy items will be divided.
If you have several different heirs who all hope to receive some of your most treasured possessions, prevent fights and family discord by dividing things up in advance or spelling out exactly how they are to be split after your death. A common method is to allow your heirs to each pick one item at a time until everything of interest is chosen.
Consolidate your financial assets.
If you haven’t consolidated your investments, it might be time to consider a trust to hold your assets and protect them from depletion. That will also make sure that your heirs can easily manage after you are gone.
If you’ve been putting off reviewing your existing estate plans or you don’t have any plans yet, don’t let 2020 roll in without making some changes.