Putting Your Affairs In Order Through Estate Planning

By Justin S. Eppler

Most Alaska residents would agree that thinking about their own deaths is not a pleasant experience. However, it is a necessary one in order to make sure that their families are taken care of after death. Estate planning allows individuals to put their affairs in order, which entails more than just figuring out who gets what and signing documents.

One of the goals of estate planning is to make the process easier, less stressful and smoother for surviving loved ones. This means going through numerous steps to make sure everything is in the proper order. For example, taking inventory of all property, along with notes regarding who should receive what items. This could help with drafting a will and/or trust. Digital assets, deposit accounts, retirement accounts and insurance policies also need to be identified as well.

Estate planning is not only about assets, however. Alaska residents also need to address their debts. This will help with the administration process since all liabilities also require addressing during this process. Part of an executor’s duties is to deal with these as well, so having a detailed list helps make completing that task easier.

The more information the executor of an estate has, the smoother the process of closing out the estate will go. For this reason alone, every adult should engage in estate planning. Gathering information regarding assets and debts is a good start, but other details will also require attention as well. A comprehensive estate plan gives surviving loved ones the peace of mind they need to help them get through an already tough time, and the individual creating the plan knows that he or she did everything possible to take care of them even after death.