Okay, a strange question, but hey if you aren’t thinking about it now, when you die your poor family will be and they won’t like what you have not prepared for. Here’s why…
A recent survey of funeral homes shows the average cost for a funeral is $7,500. In New York and California it is twice that much! Iowa and Oklahoma is a bit less than this amount. The point is, however, that dying is darned expensive!!
We all know how emotional it can be to have a loved one pass away, but to put that kind of cash burden on family on top of that emotional stress is awful.
Some time back, I attended a funeral and sat with the surviving family members. They talked openly about the funeral and burial costs and how they didn’t know anything about how to proceed so they just let the funeral home make all the decisions for them about their father. In retrospect, they regretted that decision, so they met as a family to talk about what they could have done better to make the death of their father more bearable and less financially taxing.
Here are the things they discussed that they didn’t do or didn’t urge their father to do before he died that would make a difference if they did do them for other family members upon their deaths:
- Make a list of all assets and where they were located.
- Record who is in charge of each particular asset and the ongoing expenses for that asset.
- Determine whether assets can be sold upon death and what the tax implications might be upon sale.
Another thing they had not planned on was the cost of an attorney to help settle their father’s affairs. They decided they could not navigate the court system, organize a funeral, and meet with the tax preparer all at the same time, so they approached an attorney they knew who said he could handle all these matters for them quickly and simply. This sounded attractive to each of the four members of the family so they hired this attorney and started to do his assignments. However, they soon found the list of to-do’s becoming longer and longer and the cost to retain this attorney more and more prohibitive. If their father had done some of this work before his death and helped his family members be prepared to settle his estate, hiring an attorney for this length of time would have been totally unnecessary.
The family finally reached out to Money Mastery and we are coaching them on how to gather all the financial information simply, effectively, and without the high cost of an attorney.
As they have followed the Money Mastery program, their heads are starting to clear and they are more openly discussing as a family what to do going forward as other loved ones pass away. It has created a healthy respect for each other and in the end they have all now recorded what they each want done in the case of their own deaths. They are determined not to let this happen to them again.
For more information on how to properly organize and settle your estate contact me directly: firstname.lastname@example.org.