Have you ever thought about what happens to your Social and Financial life when you die? I mean besides the obvious…My dying would be a MESS for my family as they would most likely be the people who would have to step up and wind down my estate.
I’m single. If I die there is no one to pay my bills, feed my animals, mow my lawn, get my mail, clean my house, etc. I own my own business. If I’m not around hopefully my associate Jeff will water the plants, check my email, let everyone know that I’m dead, and either try and keep the business running or wind it down.
To make it easier for everyone I’ve done my estate planning in the relatively recent past. I have a Will that directs probate and determines who gets what of my stuff. I have Powers of Attorney for both Healthcare and Finances that give my sister the ability to make health decisions for me as well as the ability to pay my bills using my checking accounts. I also have an Advance Directive letting everyone know what I want done in the event I am on life support. I’ve also reviewed my IRA beneficiary designations along with my life insurance beneficiaries to make sure that they are still accurate.
So I’ve done more planning than most people which is very responsible of me. Good job Andy!
The next step is something that I either read about or thought up on my own which was to create a “What Happens when I Die” letter and send it to the people in my life whom my death would directly impact. This is a relatively small circle composed of my parents, siblings, and best friend KR.
My letter starts off with the date of my last update which was over a year ago…
Next I have listed the combinations to my 3 Masterlocks. They are perfectly good locks and there is no reason to throw them away at my death simply because no one knows the combinations.
I then describe my status – single with no known children (I don’t think I have any Rug Rats running around out there..)
Then I go thru who did my Estate Planning (he has since died… bummer.. great guy). I tell everyone who is my Power of Attorney and Executor of my estate (I’ve given her copies of my estate plans).
I tell everyone that I want a Celebration of Life with any remembrances to go to Linfield’s Football team. I want to be cremated with my ashes spread at various places.
I go on to list:
- What happens to my pets
- Who owns the note on my mortgage and what I think the house is worth
- What I want done with my personal property- car, truck, scooter, etc.
- Instructions on contacting an association of which I’m a member
- A description of my banking and investments and how to find out more information on them
Basically anything that someone would have to deal with at my death I want listed on this letter. I want them to be able to use this letter as the main source for mapping out and winding down my financial life. I think it will help a lot.
The big piece is the communication to others as to my intentions. I’m hoping to flush out any potential issues that family might have regarding who gets what while I’m alive and able to explain my choices.