All of us make plans in advance every day of our lives. We purchase concert tickets weeks ahead of time. We schedule dentist and doctor appointments regularly. We plan vacations long before we take them.
And for the last several years more and more people of all ages are planning something else-their own funerals. Why? The reason is simple. These people recognize that there are many advantages to planning one's funeral--both financially and for one's peace of mind.
They realize that one day a great deal of information about them will be needed by their families to settle their estates. So they've made sure their records are complete, organized and up to date.
They are also more comfortable knowing that their personal wishes will be fulfilled once they have died and also they want to avoid any unnecessary legal or family problems. So they had wills drawn up.
But perhaps most important, they care deeply about their families. And because so, they have arranged their own funerals ahead of time with pre-need funeral planning-sparing those they love this emotional and financial burden in the future. Keeping good records. Few of us bother to keep good records of our personal and financial affairs. Unfortunately, disorganized or incomplete records can lead to costly complications, if something unexpected happens to you.
For your family's sake, write down everything you think the executor of your estate will need to know to carry out your wishes. This information should match the information in your will.
You should list all your biographical and financial information, including:
• A will
• Any children's names, addresses and telephone numbers
• Insurance polices
• Bank accounts and securities
• Safe deposit boxes
• Benefit entitlements
• Any other important documents
Then take a few minutes regularly to review this information and update it if necessary.
Every adult should have a will, regardless of age or financial situation. A will is a legal document that can prevent many serious problems for those you leave behind. It ensures that your personal property will be distributed according to your wishes.
Without a will, your possessions will be distributed by a court appointed administrator. And it is unlikely that your possessions would be distributed the way you want.
So if you don't already have a will, plan to have one drawn up as soon as possible. It's in your and your family's best interests to do so.
When you have your will drawn up, you will also want to name an executor of your estate. The executor should be someone in whom you have complete confidence. That's because this person will be responsible for carrying out the provisions in your will.
In addition, since wills may be contested due to legal technicalities, we recommend you use the services of a competent attorney to draw up your will, as well as to help settle your estate.
Contact your insurance agents to update all insurance policies and annuities for beneficiary and ownership corrections. Make sure that the deceased is not listed as beneficiary on any policies in force.
Notify all former pension fund accounts of the deceased to receive benefits and change accounts to show proper ownership.
Correct stocks, bonds, mutual funds and other assets (real estate holdings, limited partnership, etc.) to show current name of owner.
Contact banks, savings & loans and credit unions where finances are kept to make proper name change. (Review with your legal advisor to possibly add dependents or relatives names to accounts.)