Does Pre-Planning make the Estate process easier?

First step would be to have a Will, this appoints an Executor or Executrix for your Estate.  You can also detail your assets, so your family knows exactly how to proceed.  Think of it as your voice, in your family matters after you pass away.  It will be clear among your loved ones, who receives what asset left. 

Next, you can set up a Living Trust, this will keep your assets private, avoiding Probate.  Instead of an Executor, you would name a Trustee to oversee your assets.   OR you can transfer larger assets (like a house) to a child before you die, avoiding the Probate, or even Inheritance Tax on that property.

Both of these items can provide peace for your family, there will be many decisions that need to be made and the more you can make in advance, it will help the process overall when settling your affairs. 

As you think of planning your financial matters, think about preplanning your funeral as well.  A lot of times we don’t want to think of these things right now, but the reality is the more you can state your wishes, the easier it is on your family.  Both Estate planning and Funeral planning are intimately related. 

Lastly it is completely normal to feel unsure or uneasy about making these end-of life arrangements, however think of it like doing your taxes, it just needs to get done!

By Dana Willard