Talk Directly to a Care Advisor

1-800-955-8510

18 Must Do’s to Prepare Your Estate for Your Heirs

 

There are certain things that we recommend you do to help ensure that your heirs will get the most benefit out of your estate when you are gone.

1.       Establish a budget for your final arrangements or purchase a pre-paid funeral plan during your lifetime.

2.       List your important papers, including where these items can be found.

3.       Create a long-range plan and leave detailed instructions for how the proceeds of life insurance policies and other assets should be used to meet the needs of your beneficiaries.

4.       List IRAs and other retirement accounts, and include all benefits, terms, and penalties for early withdrawal. List Plan Administrator contact information.

5.       List other assets that can be converted to income-producing property if necessary.

6.       If you own a business, provide instructions for keeping the business running profitably. If you have a partner, make sure your heirs know what the terms of the partnership are.

7.       List the names and contact information of your important advisers, what they do, and who should be called first in the event of your death or disability

8.       Inventory your assets, list when and for how much you acquired each asset, and give instructions for how the assets should be sold and for how much. This is particularly important if you have assets such as art, collectibles, and real estate.

9.       Review your estate plan at least annually. Seek legal and tax advice on whether the value of your estate warrants planning to minimize or avoid federal and state inheritance and estate taxes.

10.   Provide a budget of what it costs to run your household.

11.   List your debts and bills. Include due dates, payment terms, and amounts owed.

12.   List the insurance policies you have in force, their beneficiaries, benefits, due dates, and premiums paid.

13.   List essential information about yourself, such as your Social Security number, safe deposit box number, personal safe combination, computer passwords, etc.

14.   If you are veteran, remember that your military discharge papers (DD-214) will be needed to collect any benefit to which your heirs are entitled.

15.   List all credit cards, account numbers, etc.

16.   List who owes you money. Include amounts owed, repayment terms, and the location of promissory notes, mortgages, etc. held by you.

17.   If you own a computer, consider purchasing a home finances software program such as Quicken or Microsoft Money to use in maintaining this information.

18.   Make a master list of all passwords and PINS to access digital and online accounts including social media.

 

By Barbara Boone McGinnis, J.D.

The following checklist will help you and the members of your family organize much of the important information described above. Once collected, you should keep this information in a safe and convenient place. On completing the items in this checklist, you may wish to give copies to the people who will be involved in settling your estate, such as the Personal Representative named in your Will.  We recommend that this information be reviewed and adjusted annually.

This information is provided as a service by the Elder Law Practice of Timothy L. Takacs. Associate Attorney Barbara Boone McGinnis, J.D .works with elderly clients and their families to plan for the challenges of aging and long-term care. For more information, call (615) 824-2571 or visit www.tn-elderlaw.com.

NOTE: Information contained herein may contain general explanations of laws. It should not be considered as legal advice. Please seek counsel from an attorney regarding legal planning.  

Comments

Related Articles

Best Ways to Pay for Funeral and Burial Services

Regular funeral costs may vary between $6,500 and $8,000. This cost doesn’t include...

Read Full Article

How to Avoid These Big Medicare Mistakes

If you’re nearing retirement and Medicare age, here are some of the most important...

Read Full Article

Which Insurance Policies Do Seniors Actually Need?

Many seniors have multiple insurance policies out. Does this sound like you? If so, you may...

Read Full Article

Home Warranties Disadvantages That Seniors Should Consider

Home warranties are on the rise among senior citizens. Although a great option for older...

Read Full Article

3 Ways to Retire with Peace of Mind

The future cane be scary, and retirees often wrestle with the stress that comes with...

Read Full Article

4 Tips on Heading into Retirement Debt Free

Approximately 49.8 percent of households headed by Americans 75 years and older have...

Read Full Article

Retirement Planning Tips for Single Women

If you are a single woman and want to retirement planning to be perfect, you need to cover...

Read Full Article

10 Life Insurance Companies Worth Checking Out Before Retirement

If you are considering getting life insurance, the follow top 10 companies should help you...

Read Full Article

5 Tips on Choosing the Right Retirement Destination

The only thing harder to do than deciding on the right time when to retire is choosing the...

Read Full Article

4 Camping Considerations for Senior Citizens

Camping is just one of the many activities older adults can enjoy, however some older adults...

Read Full Article

NEWSLETTER SIGN-UP

Sign up for our FREE monthly newsletter to receive the most up-to-date information on caring for your elderly parent or loved one

Order your printed copy of Senior Directory today!

Still enjoy flipping through the pages of a printed copy? So do we! Click on the button below to start receiving Senior Directory right at your doorstep!

Order Your Copy

I prefer the digital copy, please.

Speak to one of our advisors 1-800-955-8510