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Actions to Consider:
Getting Your Affairs in order!

The following is a list of actions to consider to save you and your family time and money at the time of your or a loved ones death!

IMPORTANT information to get your affairs in order

DB – Direct Beneficiaries

Make sure all bank accounts have direct beneficiaries. The beneficiary need only go to the bank with your death certificate and an ID of their own.

TOD = Transfer On Death

Transfer On Death deed if you own a home. Completing this document and filing it with your county saves your heirs THOUSANDS. This document allows you to transfer ownership of your home to your designee. All they need to do is take their ID and your death certificate to the county building and the deed is signed over. Doing this will avoid the home having to go through probate.

LW – Living Will

A Living Will allows one to put in writing exactly what you want done in the event you cannot speak for yourself when it comes to healthcare decisions as well as other final decisions.

DPOA - Durable Power of Attorney

A Durable Power of Attorney allows one to designate a person to make legal decisions if you are no longer competent to do so.

HCPOA – Healthcare Power of Attorney

A Power of Attorney for Healthcare allows one to designate someone to make healthcare decisions for them.

LW&T – Last Will and Testament

A Last Will and Testament designates to whom personal belongings will go to.  This should be prepared by an attorney.

FPD – Funeral Planning Declaration

A Funeral Planning Declaration allows one to say exactly one’s wishes as far as disposition of the body and the services.

If the above documents are done, you can generally AVOID probate. 

If all the above is not done, you have to open an estate account at the bank.  All money that doesn’t have direct beneficiaries goes into this account.  You have to have an attorney to open the estate account.  The attorney also has to publicize your passing in the newspaper or post publication at the county courthouse, to allow anyone to make a claim on your property. – It’s a complete PAIN. 

Sit down and:

Make a list of all banks and account numbers, all investment institutions with account numbers, lists of credit cards, utility accounts, etc. Leave clear instructions as to how and when these things are paid. 

Make sure heirs know where life insurance policies are located.

Make 100% sure SOMEONE knows your Apple ID, bank ID account logins and passwords!

Make sure you have titles for all vehicles, campers, etc. 

Set up a TRUST for intended beneficiaries, especially those that are too young, and appoint a trustee of said trust.

Talk with those closest to you and make all your wishes KNOWN. Talk to those whom you’ve designated, as well as those close to you whom you did not designate.  Do this to explain why your decisions were made and to avoid any lingering questions or hurt feelings. 

Hoping this lights a spark to encourage you, your family and friends to take care of EOL (End of Life) issues to make it easier for those left behind.

Hope is, that the above list at least helps you start an important conversation with your loved ones.

Disclaimer:  This is not legal advice or meant to replace an attorney.  Any actions or transactions should be reviewed by an attorney. 

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