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Preparing Your Loved Ones for Life After You

October 23, 2018 | By Louis Tully

While death is a subject that nobody likes to talk about, the importance of preparing your family for the years after you’re gone greatly outweighs the uneasiness. Talking about and preparing your loved ones for life without you is not only important, it’s downright responsible. If you don’t want your heirs clinging to installment loans in the wake of a financial emergency, here are some of the most important documents you’ll need to prepare to make sure their prepared for life after you.

Get a Will

Making out your will is probably the most important step. If you don't have a will prepared already, do it now. To put it plainly, a will is a legal document that says who gets your material things, who takes over the responsibility to care for your children, and who’s in charge of executing these wishes written in your will. In the event that you die without having a will prepared, the state would assume full responsibility of the above decisions. To make everything easier on everyone, you’ll want to make sure you’re calling the shots, so the state doesn’t have to. Creating a will isn’t rocket science:

  • Name Your Executor: the person in charge of carrying out your wishes.
  • Decide Who Gets What: list all your assets and figure out who you want to leave them to.
  • Name the Legal Guardians for Your Children: decide who’s best suited to take care of your children.
  • Make Sure Everything is Notarized: you’ll need an outside witness to make everything legal. A notary from your local bank or credit union can sign your will to make everything official.

Buy Life Insurance

For the most part, life insurance is just one of those things that people ignore completely. But the reality is, buying life insurance is the one way you can ensure that your loved ones are provided for when you’re gone, and should therefore be at the top of your things to do list. Unlike any other form of insurance, life insurance is about protecting your loved ones, not yourself. For more information, please contact your local insurance provider.

Organize Your Documents

This one’s a no-brainer. To make sure you’re not making a hard time for your family even harder, it’s important to be sure your documents are in good order and easy to find. Everything from your will to your life insurance policy should be included in your documents. To give you an idea of everything else that should be included, here’s a list of what should be filed away:

  • Your will
  • Your life insurance policy
  • A list of bank and retirement accounts
  • A contact list of professionals (accountant, attorney, etc.)
  • Your passwords! (nobody is going to able to access your online accounts without these)
  • Last requests or letters you wish to leave behind for your family.

Make Your Last Wish Requests (Funeral Arrangements)

As mentioned, you’ll want to include any last requests you may have before your passing. These would be requests pertaining to your funeral arrangements. Whether you wish to be buried, cremated or left at the bottom of the sea is something you’ll need to decide so your loved ones aren’t forced to decide for you.

Write a Goodbye Letter to Your Loved Ones

Saying goodbye is never easy and in many cases it’s not even possible. Get your goodbyes out on paper so your loved ones can have some closure. Of course, this is separate from your will and last wishes. Like the life insurance, this isn’t about you, it’s about those you’re leaving behind. A goodbye letter can help make a very difficult situation a little bit easier.

Life is short, and no one knows when it’s going to end. That’s why it’s so important to get these things done now, so you don’t have to worry about it later. Knowing your loved ones are taken care of will make the rest of life so much easier and stress free. Show your family you care by doing these things now and putting them first. You’ll be so happy you did.