Planning for Death with a Will or Trust

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Plan your estate leave behind a mess for everyone to cleanup?

When you die it's going to affect people and depending upon how much you plan will affect the mess that you leave behind when you die. A lot of us put this topic off because it can be really difficult. It is not fun to think about death or our mortality. It's not easy to plan for things in the future like death and retirement because it's hard to really get a sense for those things as it is so far in the future. It might be a little bit easier for you if you've experienced a death with a close person in your life. 

Death is a part of life and you need a Will or Trust

I lost my parents, so that affected my perspective on life and death and I'm afraid as time goes by, I might lose that perspective to be honest. Maybe you are worried about having an illness. Maybe you know someone with an illness. Maybe you have parents that are older and they're going to die someday. The way I like to think about it is that it's just a part of life. Death is a part of life we are all going to die. There is a really cool commencement speech by Steve Jobs that's out there, go ahead and find that. It's all about life, change, and death. So yeah, we're all going to die so just accept it. It's a part of life.

You can feel better knowing you have an Estate Plan

I know for myself personally when I planned my estate I felt so much better. I had some worries about death and my own mortality at some point and I simply just faced it and I went through it. What's going to happen if I die? What do I need to prepare for? What do I need to leave behind for my family so that everything is taken care of? My family and friends will be affected emotionally and they’ll have to grieve. I don't want to put a year of paperwork and stress on top of that if I don't have to. I want them to be able to move on with their life and enjoy their life. When people die our lives continue. It is not forgetting them, it is just accepting the loss. Living with it becomes a part of you and you move on with your life somehow. Planning for your death is okay. 

Planning with a Will or Trust is necessary

Maybe you're afraid to face this so there's a couple ways you can do this.I think the best thing to do is probably just open up a document or pen and paper and write down what's your worst fear about when you die. Is your fear about what you will go through or is it about what will happen to people you leave behind. What do you want your loved ones to experience to be when you die? Do you want them to be okay financially and do you want them to not worry about what you left behind? So just go through those thoughts and address them head-on. Life insurance and Savings are there to replace the income that is lost when you die. If you are a single person and no one depends upon your income then it's not too big of an income loss. You probably want a nice ceremony and send off, so make sure that is taken care of. If you have a family and dependents that depend upon your income you want to make sure you have the appropriate life insurance and savings are in place so that when you're gone they can survive without you. So look at your budget and remove your income. What needs to be replaced or adjusted.  This is another great reason to have a budget!

A Will or Trust is not just about Money

It's not all about money. Think about what type of legacy you want to leave behind. Do you want to donate to some causes?  If you have kids, who should care for them? What are you wishes for them as they grow? Are there any special items that you want to go to certain people? Do you have an online presence you want to be managed? Do you have passwords that need to get to the right person? These are all things to consider. The more you can clarify in your estate plan, the easier it will be for those you leave behind.

Learn More about getting a Will or a Trust

Please do this Next. Now that you’ve faced this topic. You need to learn about Wills and Trusts.  Go here.  Thank you for your time!

If you are struggling with this topic or know anyone else struggling with this, check out this cool comic book Please don't hesitate to reach out and I can steer you in the right direction. This stuff can seem overwhelming but it is pretty simple. AARP also has a tons of great resources!