It’s a new year, which means a new chance to do what you’ve been putting off until the time is right. That time is now. Here are 5 of the most loving things you can do for the people you love in the New Year because, at some point, you will become sick or die. And while we don’t like to think about it, the best way not to need to think about it is to plan well. Then, you can put it out of your mind and live your life as if every day is your last.
The Five Most Loving Things You Can Do For The People You Love In The New Year:
1. Make a Plan. Having a will, a trust, a power of attorney, a health care directive, and, if you have kids, a Children’s Protection Plan is vitally important so you don’t leave your family in a mess and having to deal with an expensive court process overseen by a judge who doesn’t know (or really care) about you or your family. Without a plan in place, you are planning to fail! Don’t do that to your loved ones.
2. Write a letter or record a CD. Pass on what really matters to your family — your values, insights, stories, and experience — in written or recorded form so they can return to you long after you are gone. There are many ways you can save special memories for those you will leave behind one day.
3. Pay for and plan your funeral. Cremated or buried? Ashes or body where? Yes or no to a viewing? Make these decisions now and let your loved ones know, in writing, so they don’t have to worry and wonder. And have the payment arrangements for your funeral expenses handled so they don’t have to scramble and pay for the arrangements at a time when they are overwhelmed with grief.
4. Plan to pay no taxes. Will there be taxes on your estate, and if so, how will your heirs pay them? Meet with your personal and trusted attorney to be sure there are no surprises with estate taxes or other costs, especially if there’s insurance involved. You don’t have to be rich to think about this.
5. Get organized. Let loved ones know where they can find your legal documents, other important paperwork, and the key to your safe deposit box. Be sure to include all of your password information to access online accounts, including email, Facebook, and other regularly accessed computer programs.