No one likes thinking about it, but you’re not going to be around forever. Once you pass away, it will be the end of a lot of trivial worries for you. However, your family will still have them, and it’s important to consider this. After you’re gone, I’m sure you want your loved ones to live as happily and easily as possible. Here are some tips on putting your affairs in order.
First of all, be smart when organising how your will is written up. If you’re the penny-pincher type, then you may be drawn towards DIY will writing kits. Unless you’re an experienced lawyer, I urge you to stay away from these! While it’s possible to write your own will, by doing it you’re opening yourself up to all kinds of problems. This is a legal document, and the wording needs to be meticulous. Otherwise, your family is going to have a hard time making sure it’s executed the way you wanted. This issue is so common that some lawyers found their careers on fixing poorly-drafted wills! This isn’t the kind of thing you can wing, so don’t. Hire a reputable probate attorney, and you’ll have little to worry about in the drafting.
You also need to be careful when choosing your trustees if you need any. Like many people, you might be setting up a trust to leave your kids. If they’re all over 18, then you’ll have very little to worry about. If not though, you need to assign responsible people you can trust as trustees. The trustees’ job will be managing the trust, investing it if that’s what you want, or taking care of property until your children come of age. Obviously this is a pretty big job, and you wouldn’t give it to the first person who offered to help out! First of all, it should be someone you trust and know intimately – your partner, relative, or a friend who won’t let you down. They should be good with financial matters, and young enough to have a good chance of out-living you.
Finally, work on your relationships with your family. This isn’t exactly a practical tip, but it’s certainly one of the most valuable we can give. We all have times where family life isn’t quite what it should be. We disagree with our partners, our teenage kids start acting out, and sometimes the chaos of life throws everything in the air. With all these stresses, we sometimes forget how much we love the people in our household. This, in turn, leads to us to become withdrawn or say things that we really don’t mean. One of the many inconveniences of life is that we have no idea when it will end. I’m sure you don’t want to leave your family on a down note. Apologise for shouting at your kid, make up with your partner, and take your parent’s advice just this once. Everyone has to go sometime. However, we can all use the time that’s given to us to make sure we go gracefully.