Dealing with the loss of a family member can be especially difficult when the necessary planning was not done ahead of time. There are three steps you can take now to protect your family.

There is nothing more devastating than dealing with the loss or illness of a family member. That difficult time can turn into a nightmare if you haven’t taken care of the necessary planning ahead of time.

I was recently working with a family who had just lost their mother and, when selling her estate, they realized there was no will or trust in place. Now they have to deal with the challenges of probate, which costs a lot of time and money.

There are three things you can do now to make sure that your loved ones are protected after you’re gone:

1. Talk about it now. Don’t wait until there is a tragedy or illness to have the difficult conversations with your family. Be open and honest about what you want to happen to your home and your investments.

“BE OPEN AND HONEST ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT TO HAPPEN TO YOUR HOME AND INVESTMENTS.”

2. Put it in writing. Make sure that you have a will or trust. It’s smart to put your wishes in writing so that your children and other beneficiaries are not left trying to sort out everything while they are in mourning. Not having a will can complicate relationships and cost your loved ones thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees. Have a frank and open discussion about your estate plans with the people who you love, who should be in the know.

3. Consult a real estate professional to ensure that your plans and assets are protected. A real estate agent can help you determine whether a revocable or irrevocable trust would be best.

This can be a very difficult topic to navigate, but it is important to take these three steps in order to protect your family. If you have any other questions or need further guidance on this topic, please don’t hesitate to give me a call. I am here to help you.