Funeral

It’s been said that nothing is certain but death and taxes.  Neither occurrence is pleasant to address, but unavoidable.  For those facing a funeral, we’d like to be part of your support in finding suppliers in all areas.  Sure there’s the funeral home needs for burial events, so you’ll find those contacts, but beyond referrals, it becomes a matter of managing the hard expenses.

A funeral is one of the highest expense items you’ll likely have.  Often, with insufficient insurance, wills, trusts and pre-burial plans, family and friends are the one’s managing the expenses after death. 

Of course, CentralGiving.com can help.  Use this site to help raise money to meet some of the expenses.  It becomes sort of your “Plan B” in estate planning.  However, it’s always best to plan ahead, when possible, so a Will and Living Trust should be part of your “Plan A” so that your assets can be directed as you wish vs. left to probate court.

Attorney Gregory Kratofil, Sr, cites the following as 7 Essential Documents that everyone needs:

  1. Living Trust—(1) allows you to keep complete control over your assets while you are able to do so, (2) allows your heirs to Avoid Probate at your death, (3) provides for the orderly distribution of your assets at your death, and (4) if necessary, allows someone to step in and manage your assets for your benefit should you become incapacitated during life.
  2. Pour-over Will—This is the document that (1) provides a back-up should you forget to transfer any of your assets to your Living Trust before your death, and (2) allows you to designate Guardians to take care of any minor children (you decide who will take physical custody of your minor children should something happen to you (as opposed to the Probate Court making the decision for you).
  3. Living Will (“Health Care Declaration” or “Right-to-Die Declaration”)—This is the document that allows you to express your desires in advance as to the use of feeding tubes, life support machines or other extraordinary measures should you be in a comatose state or have a terminal condition.
  4. Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care Decisions—This is the document that allows you to designate someone: (1) to make all decisions concerning your health care for you should you become incapacitated during life, and (2) to make the decision to “pull the plug” on you if you were in a comatose state or have a terminal condition.
  5. Durable General Power of Attorney—This is the document that allows you to designate someone to make all kinds of decisions (other than health care decisions) for you should you become incapacitated during life.  For example, if someone needs to decide whether to put you into a nursing home, file insurance claims for you, sign tax returns for you, manage your IRA’s or other retirement plans for you, etc.
  6. Quit-Claim Deed(s)—This is the document that transfers any real estate (home, rental property, lake lot, time share, etc.) that you own to your Trust.
  7. Bill of Sale—This is the document that transfers all of the tangible personal property in your home and certain intangible assets to your Trust (thereby eliminating the need to list each item in your home).

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07-29-2013
 
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