We have been dealing with a dying family member in my family recently. Dealing with death every day I know the importance of organizing your affairs. However, seeing it up close reminds me of so many things you can do, before dying, to help your family. Here are a list of things. Thankfully in our case most of these were done by grandma Nancy before she passed early this morning.
– Make plans for cremation/burial, cemetery selection, etc… and pre-pay if you can. Your family will have enough on their mind so help them out and help make sure your wishes are followed.
– Have all your assets in your trust.
– Consider naming your trusted trustee as a co-trustee if you are elderly or very sick.
– Have an immediate power of attorney for dealing with everyday issues like the post office, the DMV, and the like.
– Make a list of personal property gifts or, if you are dying, just give the stuff to the people you want to give it to. See the joy on their face when they receive your treasures!
– If you know you are dying consider signing your car’s “pink slip” to make transfer easy and not require your family having to wait 40 days after death to transfer the car.
– Have a medical power of attorney or “living will” which details what you want done for life support.
– Talk to your family and your doctor about your end of life choices now so that they know what you want when the time comes.
– Oh ya, and MAKE SURE YOU HAVE AN EXPERIENCED ESTATE PLANNING ATTORNEY!