Estate planning is sometimes seen as an exercise in expressing the way you want your pie to be sliced and distributed after your death. This is a very stripped-down approach, and you may want to take a step back and see a bigger picture.
Your family members will be going through a difficult time when they lose you, even if they have resigned themselves to the inevitability of your passing. Nothing can really prepare a person for the actual event, because the loss is palpable.
When you plan your estate, you can take this into consideration and do everything you can to make a difficult situation manageable. With this in mind, you can address your final arrangements in advance.
You can assert your wishes to make their lives easier and nip potential family disagreements in the bud, and you can be certain that your own choices will be honored after you are gone.
You can use a letter last instructions to spell out your preferred final arrangements, and there are cloud-based apps that can be utilized to store the information online.
Final arrangements will sometimes conform to a traditional structure that is part of a spiritual belief system. Many people will start with a viewing, which gives family members and friends the opportunity to spend a few moments with the body of the decedent.
A wake is a gathering at the home of a family member or friend where people get together to provide support for one another and celebrate the life of the person that has passed away.
Of course, a funeral is a formal ceremony that is held in a house of worship or a funeral home, and some people will simplify the entire process with a single memorial service.
Since there are different ways to approach final arrangements, it is wise to state your choices in advance to put your personal stamp on these final acts of remembrance.
As estate planning attorneys, we encourage people to consider their final arrangements in advance, but this does not mean that we are endorsing prepaid funeral plans. While there are reputable entities that sell these plans, there have been many scams over the years.
Even if you are not completely ripped off, you may not get good value for your money if you go in this direction. You should do your research, ask for recommendations, and tread lightly if you are considering a prepaid burial plan.
Letter of Last Instructions
As we touched upon, you can record your wishes with regard to your final arrangements in a letter of last instructions. In addition to this detail, the letter can include some other information your executor and/or trustee will need.
You can include the contact information for people that should be notified about your passing. This would be personal connections along with professionals that will be involved in the estate administration process, like your attorney, your account, and your insurance agent.
The location of relevant documents should be shared, and you should provide login information for accounts that you manage online. In addition to the financial accounts, you should address your social media accounts, blogs, and websites.
Schedule a Consultation Today!
We are here to help if you are ready to work with a Los Angeles estate planning attorney to put a plan in place. As you can see from this post, there are details that should be addressed, and there are different approaches that can be taken when you are planning your estate.
Your plan should be custom crafted to allow for the smooth and efficient actualization of your legacy goals. If you are ready to get started, you can call us at 310-337-7696 to schedule a consultation appointment.
There is also a contact form on this site you can use to send us a message, and if you reach out electronically, you will receive a prompt response.