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Offered by Dolan & Associates, P.C.

SailingWhen thinking about estate planning, we often hope that the plans we put in place will help the process go more smoothly for our families after we die. While getting our legal instructions in order can help, there are many other things individuals can do to help accomplish this important goal.

Consolidate accounts later in life. If you have accounts at two banks and a credit union that served a purpose when you were younger, dealing with these accounts will simply be additional\ work for your family upon your disability and death. Consider closing unnecessary accounts. This will also reduce the number of statements you have to review and keep track of as you age and reduce the likelihood of fraudulent activity. Organize files and the paperwork you have around your home. Discard unnecessary items or paperwork regarding assets you no longer own and accounts that have been closed so that your family doesn’t wonder if the assets still exist. Not having extra paperwork around as you get older also helps you to not be confused about what you have.

Communicate with your family about what you own. Don’t make them embark on a morbid scavenger hunt after you die. People don’t like to talk about money, or death. You are going to die, and you are likely to have assets when you die. Communicating with your family in advance of your death can signifi cantly reduce the problems, issues, and stress they experience following your death.

Remember, estate planning is a process of preparation prior to your disability or death. It is not an event or getting a certain type of document. Take the time to prepare and by doing so you can assure that the process will go more smoothly for your family at a trying time.

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