Ask Tom: What Can I do Today To Help My Family When I Pass Away?

Oct 17, 2018 | General

Each of us live week to week, day to day, and sometimes hour to hour. We get wrapped up in the routine of our busy schedules and sometimes we forget the certainty of death. Some of us leave this life early and others late, but there is no denying that none of us can outrun it. Creating a trust is the most efficient way to ensure your assets benefit the people or organizations you care about. Owning a home, any real property, or assets over $100,000 may result in probate when the owner passes away.

By creating a trust you have a safe way to be certain that your family will receive anything that you want them to possess after your passing. Pre-death planning seems difficult and involves emotions that may be hard to work through. Every family is unique in the way that they care about each other. Yet, it will be easier if you prepare for this in advance, so that you will have a peace of mind of what will happen with your assets at your death. 

One of the first actions you will want to take will be to gather information. Here are some things you might consider with your loved ones:

  • Creating estate planning documents (or updating them)
  • Collect updated contact information of family, friends, and advisors
  • Identify assets and their location
  • Review assets controlled by beneficiary designation
  • Identify creditors 
  • Adjust safe deposit box ownership
  • Transfer assets
  • Review tax planning for individual retirement accounts
  • Report prior taxable gifts
  • Consider gifts
  • Discuss funeral arrangements
  • Address final medical decisions

If you already have a trust, have you reviewed to make sure that the trust is complete and still aligns with your wishes? You might have acquired some new property, considered changing or adding agents, tax laws may have been changed, or your family’s needs and goals have changed. 

Your family will want to take care of your property in the way you want it. Help them carry out your wishes by periodically reviewing your estate planning documents.  

JensenBayles, LLP provides a broad spectrum of legal services.  Thomas J. Bayles has been actively providing advice in the areas of trusts, wills, probate and tax planning in the St. George market for over 18 years. Please visit our web site or call 435-674-9718 and ask for Thomas J. Bayles. The information in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as legal advice. Please contact an attorney for legal advice specific to your situation.

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