Estate planning is an essential part of your funeral preplanning checklist. No matter what your age, it is important to have your affairs in order.
Why is estate planning so important? The simple answer is that you want to protect your assets and your loved ones when you die. And this is true regardless of your age because life is precious and can also be fleeting.
But what if you already have a will or a living trust in place? Is that something you can just check off and not worry about anymore? Realistically, it is great that you have thought ahead and have legally documented your wishes. However, if it has been a while since you last updated your estate plan, you may want to take another look.
Legal experts who specialize in estate planning recommend that wills and living trusts are reviewed every couple of years. This is important for a number of reasons, most especially if there have been changes in the law, your finances, or personal circumstances. Here are some examples:
- Birth of a child or grandchild
- Change in marital status
- Loss of spouse
- Family disputes
- Financial loss or gain
- Deteriorating health
- New tax laws
As you can see, there are a number of reasons why you should periodically revisit and update your existing estate plan. Life is full of changes, and you want to be prepared.
By the same token, if you do not have an estate plan in place, you could be putting your loved ones at risk. Consulting with an estate planning attorney to legally record your wishes can help to alleviate any issues for your family after your passing.
One note: Many people wonder if they should include their funeral planning wishes in a will or living trust. Since most estates are settled after a funeral has passed, it would seem futile to document your wishes there. Instead, you can choose to create a “final arrangements” document that addresses your choice of burial or cremation, casket choice, location of burial, or anything else related to your final resting place.
At Mountain View Funeral Home, we can help you create your funeral preplanning checklist so that you can relieve your loved ones of the burden later on and rest assured that your wishes will be honored. Contact us here to learn more.