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Making a Plan for Practical Matters Can Make Things Easier for Your Family After You're Gone

NEPW Binder_Blog

As we continue our series on creating an estate legacy plan, we want to share an idea that addresses the practical matters that come up when someone passes away.

There are many ways to make sure your family knows what to do and how to move forward put putting it in writing is always a good idea.

You can find books that will walk you through the information, but you can also create a binder on your own.

Many of the details in this binder will undoubtedly be covered by your will but providing it in this form allows your surviving family members to complete the necessary day-to-day tasks while waiting on your will to be probated.

Such a binder might include the following:

  • Who to call and how to reach them:
    • Family
    • Friends
    • Funeral home for arrangements
  • Funeral arrangements
    • What funeral home do you plan to use?
    • Is your funeral already paid for?
      • As an aside, did you know that many funeral homes offer discounts if you plan and pay ahead of time?
    • Do you want to have a service?
      • Who do you want to officiate the service?
      • Who do you want to give a eulogy?
      • What songs do you want sung/played?
      • Who do you want to serve as pallbearers?
    • If you’re being buried…
      • Where do you want to be buried?
      • Have you already purchased a plot?
    • If you’re being cremated, what would you like done with your ashes?
  • Insurance policies
    • Include details like what your policies provide for, where the paperwork is located, and how the insurance company needs to pay out your family’s claim.
  • Accounts
    • Include details about what financial institutions hold your accounts, what those accounts were used for, and any special instructions about the accounts.
    • Include details about what the financial institution will need to close out your accounts.
    • Beneficiaries
  • Paying bills
    • If you are the one who primarily pays the bills in your household and have a surviving spouse/partner/child who shares the home with you, make sure that they have all the information needed to sign into the accounts and continue the necessary services. Include usernames and passwords, payment due dates, etc.
    • It’s a good idea to have usernames and passwords protected by an encrypted password manager.
  • Executor
    • Include the name and contact information of the person you’ve designated to be the executor of your estate.
  • Kids
    • If you have kids at home, make sure it is known what your intentions are about to whom they should go to live.
    • It is, of course, important that you have conversations with the person/persons you wish to take care of your children.
  • Pets
    • If you have pets, detail where you want them to live.

TIP: It may be helpful to have a Table of Contents and tabs as the binder may be complex.

This blog is an excerpt taken from our upcoming Financial Legacy Planning eBook. Check back for more excerpts and the entire eBook.

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