A friend recently contacted us to tearfully explain that her spouse had passed away and while he had a LEO subscription, he’d never input any of the information that would help her understand their finances or his after-death wishes. She was left completely at a loss and had no idea where to begin. We were heartbroken for her because this did not have to happen. All the tools were at our friend’s disposal with his LEO account and yet, sadly, he never took advantage of them.
An after-death plan can only be written before we die, so it’s incumbent upon us to take the time to prepare as we would with anything else of significance in our lives. We do it for those we love because they matter.
Where to Start
Start with the “Organization” of your after-death plan. You can organize it yourself or with the help of an estate attorney, financial planner, or someone you rely upon. Life Estate Organizer – LEO offers a Getting Started Checklist that will help you determine the issues that are relevant to your life and that should be addressed in your end of life plan and more broadly in your estate settlement plan.
You can gather the information found on the Checklist in a large folder(s), write down all the details, and leave it in a desk or drawer somewhere for your loved one or trusted individual to access when needed. They will then have to untangle what you’ve provided and begin the process on your behalf of settling your estate. OR, you can use LEO to comprehensively gather everything from passwords to account numbers, to documents, photos, and final wishes. The account is organized and secured to be accessed only by the person(s) you trust to execute your wishes.
Either way that you choose, your plan will contain:
- 7 Must-Have Documents
- Contact information of people involved in your plan and their responsibilities.
- Digital records of vital information.
- Contract agreements, for example, funeral arrangements, etc.
- Documents of agreements, deeds, titles, insurance, etc.
- Photos, computer, and printed images.
- See our What I Should Communicate About My Life blog for ideas.
Releasing Your After-Death Plan
The release of your after-death plan is crucial and must occur before or immediately after your death. A number of immediate actions must then take place. These are things that you can prepare on your own or within your LEO account. For example:
- In the event of death letters of instruction
- Organ donation
- Body to science
- Autopsy or no autopsy
- Burial or cremation
- Funeral or memorial
- Pre-made funeral arrangements
- Children, disabled family member or pet care and instructions
- Asset and liability management
Executing Your Wishes
Once your after-death plan has been accessed, actions can be taken on your behalf. If you were diligent in your planning, those you leave behind will be able to finalize matters much more simply and in keeping with your wishes. Everything from material possessions, to family memories and cherished traditions, are lovingly and securely transferred. Choosing to leave matters unfinished can, and often does, lead to expensive, prolonged, and sometimes painful situations for grieving loved ones.
Don’t let the unexpected catch you off guard. Sign up for a LEO subscription today! It’s FREE for 30 days so you can try it out and then enjoy 20% off an annual subscription with our #Staycation Discount! Only $4 per month or $48 for 12 months. Offer expires August 31, 2020. Follow us on Facebook to keep up with the latest LEO news and tools.