4 ways to plan your estate

4 ways to plan your estate

You've worked hard all your life and accumulated wealth and possessions. Who should get your stuff? What kind of funeral service do you want? Here are some tasks to consider:

Make a list of your assets. Include date of purchase, cost and where you want them to go when you die. The list may be used in a will and/or living trust. A will transfers your assets after your death. A living trust provides lifetime and after-death property management. Take the information to an estate planning attorney for safekeeping.

Talk with your family. Make sure your spouse, children and grandchildren — if necessary — know where your important papers are located. If you are without family, recruit a trusted friend or hire an attorney to oversee your affairs. Ask family what they would like of yours. Just because it's a treasure to you, doesn't mean it's a treasure to them.

If you aren't using it, get rid of it. Clearing out the clutter and excess around your house will alleviate a lot of stress for those going through your things after you're gone.

Funeral costs can quickly add up. Prices vary depending on where you live, but costs can average from $4,000 for cremation to $10,000 and up for a funeral service package. When planning your funeral, understand what you want, write it down, tell your loved ones and make plans for payment.

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