Money 309: Big Decisions – Family Deaths

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Money 308: Big Decisions – Vacations

When a family member is growing older, be bold and bring up the matter of inheritances

  • Clarify desires and expectations
  • Provide input for when they do decide to make their will
  • Discuss the concept of a living will in order to minimize taxation
  • If you have anyone who is related to you and is not a genuinely good person, be ready to navigate a lot of family politics

When they pass, get at least 10-15 death certificates to send to all interested parties about the passing

  • Banks
  • Financial institutions
  • Previous employers where a retirement account may be
  • Credit card companies
  • Lenders
  • Insurance providers
  • Social security office
  • Anywhere else they received financial statements from

Funerals, like weddings, exploit an emotional state to make a ton of money

  • When someone dies, they don’t need anything, and the funeral is for everyone else
  • There are many expenses that are unnecessary to a funeral
    • All caskets are the same, since they hold a body, and how nice they are doesn’t matter
    • Embalming involves sabotaging a corpse to charge a service, and refrigeration is just as effective for an open casket funeral
  • This is difficult to talk about, but very necessary

Review the wills/trusts and the terms set in each document

  • Provide them to your legal or financial counsel for advice
  • Assets are typically not a straightforward matter when getting a value
    • If assets to be distributed aren’t part of a will, they may be subject to probate
    • Life insurance policies, retirement accounts and annuities will pass directly to the beneficiaries
    • The unpaid debts of the deceased might become your liability
  • Keep a separate folder for each account type to stay organized
    • Have the bills in order as you prepare for the funeral
  • After the initial rush, make plans for the future
    • Review your budget with the new expenses in mind
    • Review the retirement investments you’ve acquired and the financial needs you have
    • Start new financial goals with the new budget
Next: Money 401: Investing