Having recently gone through being an executor for a last will and testament, it was an enlightening experience. This person was luckily very organized, but really got me to thinking about needing to have conversations with my own parents about making sure “things are in order.”
I am definitely not an expert in this area, but you have to start somewhere. I casually started discussing with my father my “lessons learned” from being an executor for this person’s estate. It was not a lengthy discussion, but got the conversation started.
There are so many things to think about, but here are some high – level items to consider:
Overall Will Questions
· Do you have a will?
· Who is the lawyer who worked on the will for you?
· Who is the executor?
· Do you have a copy of the will in the house? Where is it?
· Where do you keep important documents? birth certificate, house deed, life insurance, etc.
· Gravestone or Cremation?
· Do you have a plot?
· Where is it?
· Funeral Home?
· Special requests?
(Helpful to have a joint bank account to cover funeral expenses)
· How to dispose of items? (Special things you want certain people to have)
· People to notify?
These are just some basic ideas to have an initial discussion. There are so many other things to think about also (power of attorney, estate planning, if your parents can’t take care of themselves one day (what they want to do)….
Like I said, there is never a good time to have these types of conversations, but they do need to happen. Just start with some of the basics and hopefully you can get the conversation started.