No one enjoys thinking about the reality of their own eventual death; however, it is just that – a reality. What can be even harder sometimes is thinking about how your loved ones, specifically your children, will handle your death. Even if they are grown adults well into middle age or beyond, your death will have an emotional impact on your children. In addition, they will likely be responsible for handling your affairs after you pass away. To make that easier for them, an Indianapolis attorney at Frank & Kraft discusses what you can do now to make things easier for your children after your death.
The Practical and Legal Ramifications of Your Death
When most of us think about the death of a loved one, we immediately envision the grief and other heightened emotions that are associated with the passing of someone close to us. Your children, regardless of their age when you pass away, will undoubtedly go through the grieving process; however, they will also be faced with handling the practical and legal ramifications of your death. That can involve anything from making sure your cat is fed to overseeing the administration of your entire estate. Knowing that your passing will be difficult, you may want to take steps now to make things easier for your children after your death.
Things You Can Do Now to Help Your Children Deal with Your Death
The good news is that there are several steps you can take right now to help ease the emotional, financial, and practical hardship your children will experience upon your passing, such as:
- Include funeral planning in your estate plan. Telling your children how you want your body handled and what type of service you want is certainly a good idea; however, the best way to ensure that those wishes are honored and to remove the need for your children to make such emotionally heart wrenching decisions is to include a funeral and burial planning component in your estate plan.
- Arrange to pay for your funeral. Imagine your children trying to cobble together the funds necessary to provide you with a funeral and burial that truly honors you but being unable to do so. As part of your funeral component, consider establishing an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT). An ILIT lets you make the trust the beneficiary of a life insurance policy the proceeds of which can be used to pay for your funeral. The terms of the trust can also be used to legally ensure that your wishes will be honored.
- Write your own obituary. Writing an obituary for a recently deceased loved one can be one of the most emotional parts of the grieving process. Relieving your kids from the need to write yours takes that off their plates – and ensures that your story will be told the way you want it to be told.
- Gift now instead of after your death. Gifting during your lifetime instead of after your death offers practical, emotional, and financial benefits. Those gifts may provide tax advantages and every asset passed down prior to your death is one thing less for your Executor to worry about after your death. In addition, gifting now allows you to experience the joy of giving with your beneficiaries.
- Organize your life. Put all your important documents, including those that are part of your estate plan, in one place. Make lists of assets, debts, contacts, account numbers, and anything else that your children might need after you are gone.
Are You Ready to Make Things Easier for Your Children after Your Death?
For more information, please join us for an upcoming FREE seminar. If you have additional questions about what you can do to help your children handle your passing, contact an experienced Indianapolis estate planning attorney at Frank & Kraft by calling (317) 684-1100 to schedule an appointment.