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Estate Planning

Preparing for Death: Legal and Financial Steps

Clock5 min. read
byVexxit Staff onSeptember 02, 2020

Preparing for death is one of the best ways to protect your family during a time of grief. Here’s what you need to consider.

Whether or not you’ve thought about it, preparing for death is one of the best ways to protect your family during a time of grief.

Emotions aside, your death takes a large toll on the people you love—planning the funeral, sorting out legal issues, and divvying up assets will be just a few of the things they’ll be dealing with after you pass away.

You can make the entire process easier on your loved ones by talking openly about your wants and needs, and by taking the legal and financial steps necessary to prepare for your eventual passing.

Here are four important factors to consider when starting to prepare for your death:

Sort Your Assets

You should have your assets in order well before your death. This means you will need a last will and testament, which allows you to decide who will inherit your assets after you die. It is also a good idea to appoint an executor who will be responsible for distributing these assets, and a power of attorney—a legal document that authorizes someone else (the attorney in fact) to make business, legal, and financial decisions on your behalf.

Having these systems in place will save your loved ones from the tense, awkward process of divvying up your assets and potentially fighting about exactly what belongs to whom.

Look Into Life Insurance

Life insurance protects your loved ones financially. It provides them with a lump sum, tax-free payment that they can use to help recover from the financial losses of your passing. It’s a good idea to look into life insurance policies, as any coverage you already have might not be enough.

The cost of life insurance can vary based on age, medical history, gender, etc. There are varying types of plans and coverage, and it’s important to speak with an advisor to find the one that is right for you. Insurance assessments and calculators are an easy way to figure out approximately what you need.

Tackle Your Debt

If you can, try to avoid leaving your family with too much debt. Once you pass, your debt does not simply die with you. In some situations, creditors can try to make a claim on your loved ones’ estate if they can prove they are owed money. In this case, your debts must be paid out before any inheritance proceeds are paid to your beneficiaries.

To avoid any added stress on the people you love, try to get your debt under control as soon as possible.

Make Funeral Decisions

Talking about your own funeral plans can certainly feel morbid, which is probably why most of us don’t do it. Although it's a heavy subject, it is important to talk to your loved ones about your wants and needs when it comes to your celebration of life to avoid them feeling lost, stressed, and overwhelmed while planning it.

Do you want a large funeral? Traditional? Or a party with just your closest friends? Do you have money set aside for the event, or approximately how much are you willing to let your family spend? Would you prefer to be cremated or buried? Are there specific songs, foods, rituals, or activities you’d like your guests to experience?

Even if you are only now beginning to think about these details, it helps your loved ones immensely by taking away unnecessary stress and letting them focus instead on their beautiful memories with you.

Preparing for death can feel overwhelming and confusing. If you need to speak with a legal advisor to offer assistance and help you sort everything out, Vexxit can help you find the professional who is the right fit for you. Visit our website for an easy step-by-step process to match you with the experts you need.

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