Steps to Getting Final Affairs in Order

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U.R.G.E.N.T. Steps to Getting Final Affairs in Order

Understand What Is Needed and the Processes Involved in Settling Someone’s Final Affairs. Become familiar with what processes begin when someone passes, the differences between wills and trusts, what probate is and when it is needed and know what are myths and mistakes Executors can make.

Restructure Assets as advised by your attorney (for legal concerns), CPA (tax concerns) and/or financial adviser (investment concerns). Just knowing what to do does not protect or benefit you until it is done.

Gather Key and Critical Information for your Executor and Family. THIS IS IMPORTANT! Organize it to be easy to find when needed. If you don’t do it, someone else will need to, usually at a much more cost of time and expense than would have been necessary for your to do it. Keep information and Executors up to date.

Engage Family in the Process. Where it is appropriate, communicate your wishes and intentions. Families typically can have many or just a few, but serious, questions. Now is the time to answer those questions, have discussion, work things out and bring the family together on the same page as yourself.

Name Your Executor or Successor Trustee Carefully. The responsibility of being an Executor carries some weight. Given that burden, the enormity of the task and some of the not-so-easy things to deal with which may come up, careful consideration needs to be given to whether the person being considered is up to the task and if it is a good fit. There are professional third parties, probably even the attorney, who can help if not. Someone who may be confused by the various legal and business processes and lack organizational skills, who might have difficulty making tough decisions or may not handle pressure or conflict well, could possibly not be the best choice, even if they are your kid.

Take Action Now. Not doing so obviously could jeopardize how you want things taken care of and create unnecessary cost to your estate and put more pressure on your family and friends. You won’t be here to help but they will be around to deal with what you leave. The good news is that with a little bit of cost of time, money and effort on your part now, they will have a much greater appreciation for that later. So determine what your next action needs to be and Get It Done!