As the unfortunate saying goes, all good things must come to an end, and that includes life. All you can hope is that when you go, you leave your family in a position to take care of their final expenses and thrive financially without you. There's nothing exciting about making final arrangements for yourself and the future of your beneficiaries, but it's a necessary part of life.
It's heartbreaking enough to lose a loved one, but managing the estate of the deceased adds another layer of stress to the grieving process. However, the more you do now to get your affairs in order, the easier everything will be for your executor, trustee, and beneficiaries. Continue reading to get some tips that'll help you have peace of mind about the people who survive you and their wellbeing after you're gone.
1. Setting up a family trust is a great way to protect your estate until your passing.
You're probably familiar with the term "trust fund baby" as a pejorative for someone who's born into wealth or attains wealth through their inheritance. Even though it's a term used to slight people of means, wouldn't you like for your kids to be trust fund babies?
An irrevocable trust, one that only the grantor's named beneficiary can amend or terminate, is one of the best ways to ensure that your beneficiaries or heirs get everything you have for them. One of the great things about an irrevocable trust is that it's a way around estate taxes and can protect the estate itself, since you hand over complete ownership of all assets in the trust to the trustee.
Another great thing about irrevocable trusts is that there financial institutions like HCS that offer trust loans to beneficiaries. Trust loans are paid back when the trust is dissolved and assets distributed to your named beneficiaries and heirs. Furthermore, being that the assets in an irrevocable trust have been signed over to a trustee who legally owns them until dissolution, those assets are protected from estate taxes and creditors.
2. Choose an executor for your estate.
Picking an executor for your will is a monumental decision because whoever you put in charge of your estate will be your representation to the rest of your family members upon your passing. The executor will handle everything from your burial arrangements to the dissemination of your assets and possessions, so it's critical to pick someone you can trust to execute your wishes and look after the rest of your beneficiaries.
Many people choose their oldest child to be the executor of the will, and when you think of it, picking one is like picking an heir to your proverbial throne. They'll be in charge of your real estate, trust assets, and even your social media accounts, so in a way, it's like you're handing them the keys to your kingdom.
3. Make arrangements for your funeral.
Believe it or not, making funeral arrangements can be as trying for your family as managing your estate. Stress and grief do strange things to people, and suddenly, things like which song to sing at the gravesite and whether to read a phrase from the King James Version or the New Revised Standard Version Bible (NRSV) becomes a source of conflict.
The more detailed you are about your final wishes, the easier things will be for your family as they plan to lay your body to rest. Your plans could detail things such as your favorite scriptures you want read and what songs you want sung.
4. Make sure your executor has all the pertinent information they'll need to manage your estate.
One of the most important things for you to do in preparation for your departure is to make sure that whoever you put in charge of your estate is familiar with your lawyer, accountant, and even your social media accounts. In other words, you must make sure that whoever is to manage your estate has all the information and tools necessary to do so.
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