Few life events are as painful and undesired as dealing with the deaths of loved ones. Cleaning up the mess than many of these loved ones leave behind when they pass ranks as a close second, though. We recently spoke with a prospective client that lost multiple family members in a rather short period of time. First, in-laws died with no will and multiple properties in multiple states. Death of the spouse soon followed prior to probate closing. As it these events failed to create sufficient grief, the in-laws apparently never came across an item they did not want to keep: the propensity to hoard resulted in no less than five dumpsters of “stuff” being carried off from just one of the inherited properties. Creating positive memories after disposing of tons of unwanted “stuff” will challenge even the most gracious of us. Below, we short-list items that not only will leave your loved ones better off when you go, but also likely will aid the rest of your time with us.
- Will – For goodness sakes, please create a will and leave your loved ones with guidance on what you would like done, who you prefer to do it, and what should happen with your “stuff,” after all is said and done.
- Beneficiaries – Designate and/or review the named beneficiaries on your assets: life insurance policies, investment accounts, bank accounts, etc.
- Insurance – Review policies for life, long-term care, disability, etc.
- Clean up – Don’t leave others a mess. You wouldn’t like it if they did it to you.
- Communicate – No one likes talking about their death or the deaths of loved ones. However, just as an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, one difficult conversation could eliminate the need for many more down the road.
End-of-life care, whether it be medical, psychological, or even financial, presents a significant gap in the care continuum for many on each side of the situation. As a result already high levels of grief, anxiety, and frustration build when, probably, a large portion of this trauma could have been avoided with just a little planning and communication.