Obtaining death certificates is one of the cremation services provided in Havana, FL after you die. However, there are several documents that you need to prepare now – before you die – so that your loved ones have the easiest time possible taking care of everything after you die.
One document that you need to prepare now is a will or a revocable trust. These legal instruments enable you to designate someone to oversee your affairs after your death and they let you distribute assets and property to whomever you wish.
If you don’t have a will or revocable trust, your estate will go into probate. What this means is that your family will not have access to any assets (unless they are a joint owner or joint signer) until a court determines the value of your estate (assets minus debts) and arbitrarily distributes them according to the next-of-kin laws in Florida. This process can take up to a year or more to be completed.
What this means in practical terms is that your family’s life is in limbo for that period of time. They will not have access to any financial assets that are solely in your name, so they will be unable to use them to pay debts and support themselves. Additionally, they will not be able to make any decisions about property, businesses, etc. that you are the sole owner of.
This can put your family in financial jeopardy and it can put your financial and physical assets that you have spent a lifetime accruing at risk as well.
It is advisable to include a letter of explanation with your will or revocable trust to explain your rationale for how your assets are distributed. If you will be splitting your estate unevenly among your immediate family members, you should talk with them now about why you have decided to do that to ward off hard feelings that are likely to surface when it is revealed after your death.
Another document that your heirs will need is a list of all your financial accounts and the names of the beneficiaries on those accounts. This will include bank accounts, retirement accounts, and investment accounts. You can assign a beneficiary or name someone to whom the account should be transferred when you die (known as a transfer on death, or TOD, provision) to these accounts now.
It’s important to remember that the beneficiaries on these accounts will supercede any beneficiaries named in your will or revocable trust, so you need to make sure to keep your beneficiaries current.
If, for example, you named an ex-spouse as the beneficiary on an account, but named your current spouse in your will or revocable trust, the ex-spouse, not your current spouse, will get whatever is in the account.
A personal inventory is another document your heirs will need when you die. While your will or revocable trust will usually tend to distribute your personal possessions in broad strokes (using words like “all” and “everything”), a personal inventory will let you make sure that everything you own is accounted for. Don’t forget about personal possessions that may be stored somewhere else that your heirs may not even know about.
Be sure that you have life insurance policies, real estate records, tax returns, and digital account information stored with your will or revocable trust, your list of financial accounts, and your personal inventory. By keeping all your important papers in a single place, your heirs will have access to everything you want them to have after you die.