What Should I Take Care of Before I Die?

Have a will in place and update it accordingly

Making a will doesn’t have to be complicated, but many Americans put off writing one for several reasons. Generally, there are rules in place where the deceased belongings will go to in the case of larger assets. This includes items such as bank accounts, retirement accounts, and other life insurance policies.

Appoint a Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is someone who will act on your behalf for legal and financial matters if you become unable to do so yourself. There are different types of power of attorney, including:

  • Springing Power of Attorney — Goes into effect after a previously stipulated event, like a medical diagnosis.
  • Medical Power of Attorney — A trusted individual who can make decisions about your medical treatment if you are unable to do so. They are unable to make financial decisions.

Create a list of your possessions and determine recipients

Like what you do in a will, make a list of your possessions and determine the recipients you wish to receive them once you pass. These types of possessions are generally less valuable than ones you name in your will. Writing down your items with sentimental value will help your family determine what goes where and prevent any potential fighting.

Speak with a financial advisor

It’s true that the best way to ensure you have taken care of everything you need to before you die is to speak with a financial advisor. They are the experts and will understand how to create wills and trusts, appoint executors, give advice on Power of Attorneys, and more. It’s generally best practice to leave your family out of most of these types of legal matters, as emotions can run especially high during these types of situations. A financial advisor will be able to help from a nonpartisan standpoint.

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