Covering All The Bases; When I Die, I Want. . .

I know it’s no fun to think about this topic, but you are going to leave a legacy when you leave here. For better or worse, you will leave a legacy. I am going to use the next few blogs to cover topics you need to address as a part of your estate plan. If you have a Last Will & Testament in place, that’s great. Look at this blog and the next few as reminders of other steps you need to take.

My Funeral To Look Just Like This.

Plan your funeral. Take the burden off of your loved ones and make the plans now. Choose your music, the type of service you want, what church or synagogue you want, and so on. Make sure your decision about cremation clear (talk to your attorney about a Notice Of Contrary Intent, if your situation calls for it). If you want a particular undertaker to be employed, make sure that those close to you know your wishes.

I recommend that you put all of this information in one place, preferably in the same drawer or file where you keep your Last Will & Testament, your Accountant’s name, and so forth. Include things like if you already own a cemetery lot, who you would like to be your pall bearers, if you want a reception dinner afterwards, with as much detail as you wish. You can create a game plan that will make the job of your Executor and your loved ones much easier.

And make sure that your estate plan includes funds to pay for all of this, after you have passed. If you prepay a $20,000 funeral and arrangements, then when you die, it is counted as a $20,000 asset for which your beneficiaries must pay inheritance tax. If, however, you pre-plan everything and you allow your estate to pay the bill, the size of your estate will be reduced by $20,000 and your beneficiaries will pay inheritance taxes on $20,000 less.

Pre-planning is great. It makes life easier for those you leave behind. Not prepaying, but still pre-planning is the way to go.