While you may have a bucket list of things you want to do before you die, there are some arrangements that you should make for your own death. As morbid and as in the distant future are death may seem, you should set up your estates so that things will be in place once they are gone.
The first thing that should be handled is the state of your finances. After someone has died, taxes must still be paid on their assets and payments must still be made toward their bills and expenses. Make sure that you understand your financial status, and that it is secure, so that there will be no surprises for your family after you are gone. You don’t want to leave your remaining family surprises such as exorbitant debts and tax evasion , which must be paid by your remaining family. Hire an accountant to structure your finances and create a budget for you so that, if you have not started already, you can become more financially responsible.
Create a plan with your medical provider that outlines your wishes in a terminal or life-threatening medical situation. These conditions will apply to circumstances where you are not able to make a medical decision on your own and dictates what you would like to occur under such conditions.
For example, a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order can be put in place so that if you are in a situation where you have been injured and must be resuscitated in order to survive, the medical team cannot legally revive you. This option is popular among persons who do not wish to be resuscitated if they will experience negative side effects from being in critical condition.
Stating clearly now what you would like done in these instances gives you power over a point in your life where you express what you want to do. Any and all medical requests should be documented in case of an accident or illness that takes away your ability to choose for yourself.
Regularly update the contact information on any accounts that you hold, including retirement, insurance and investments. Plus, it is also a good idea to hire someone to categorise and total your assets for you so that you are aware of the total worth of your estate. If you do not wish to hire someone else to establish your estate worth, it can be done on your own using a number of online templates or Asset Software.
Once you have determined the total value of your assets, you can begin creating a will to state formally how you would like your estate divided. Even if you do not choose to create a will, you can put someone in charge of handling your assets once you are gone. This person should understand what your wishes are and how best to keep these wishes once you have passed away.
In the case that you have children in your family or are the guardian of minors, you need to make sure that there is a system set in place to take care of them once you are not longer around. If you are a single parent or the spouse of someone not capable of caring for children, you can appoint a friend or family member to take over guardianship of the wards present in your house at the time of your death.
This area is sometimes overlooked in planning for the future, which can leave the children in limbo or juggled between family members until the right fit is found. Speak to your family to determine who would be willing to look after your children if you are no longer here and make an official request in your will or during your establishment of your estate that they be put in charge of the children’s care.
To learn more, read more on death issues.
She was nominated and selected for FORTUNE Most Powerful Women conference in 2016 (Asia) and 2015 (San Francisco, Next Gen).
Anna has 10 years of experience in the financial sector and is currently a Director in Tera Capital. Her previous work experience includes positions at Citigroup, United Overseas Bank, a regional role in Business Monitor and a boutique private equity firm based in Shanghai. She graduated from Singapore Management University (Finance and Quantitative Finance).
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