When a loved one passes away, family members are tasked with many things which include making funeral arrangements and settling the deceased’s estate, in addition to navigating the grief process. These tasks become more difficult when family members are mired down in a mountain of paperwork. The process is eased significantly when an estate is left in proper, easy-to-understand order, and when clear, concise directives are established. There are five simple ways to organize and declutter:
- Consider consolidating bills wherever possible. For example, choose one or two credit cards or bank accounts to manage personal and business bills in one convenient location. Not only does this make it easier for you to manage your finances, it makes it easier for your family to locate and manage your financial affairs at the time of your demise or during periods of incapacity.
- Keep all necessary papers in one location. Informing at least two family members of the location of these important papers avoids unnecessary frustration and delays.
- Cull paperwork down to the essentials. Consolidating bank accounts and insurance policies into a few accounts and policies makes settling your estate a significantly smoother process. It also eases the burden on the family when they have fewer institutions and organizations to deal with.
- Have your Will, Trusts, and other documents current and in a safe location that family members can access.
- Have tax records and other financial statements on hand for the last few years. Twenty years of tax documentation is not only unnecessary, it can, in fact, prove daunting to wade through excessive documentation to procure what’s actually needed to settle accounts. Instead, consider keeping only the last 5-7 years.
- Create a master list of assets, liabilities, emergency and non-emergency contacts, executors,
beneficiaries, and attorneys. Including telephone numbers and physical and email addresses makes contacting these individuals easier.
Have an attorney assist you in creating a Will and/or Trust, durable power of attorney, and advance directives for healthcare – all critically important documents. An experienced attorney can also advise you on organizing and decluttering your life through consolidating bills and streamlining other important papers. At the Grissom Law, LLC, we have the knowledge and experience you can rely on to help you understand the laws of the state of Georgia and uncover the best way to meet your needs and those of your family.
This Blog/Web Site is made available for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and Grissom Law, LLC.