Who Gets What When You Die?

According to the National Association of Financial and Estate Planning, here are the kinds of heir-planning issues to consider as you begin to plan your will and last wishes:

  • Do you want to bequeath equal or unequal shares?

  • At what age should each heir inherit? (You can set it up so that each receives specified chunks at specified ages.)

  • How to distribute indivisible property, such as a house or the bowling ball with which you won a tournament.

  • Whether to leave out or disinherit any heirs.

  • What to do in complicated family situations, where spouses have children from other marriages.

  • What to do when you have a reckless child who spends with abandon.

  • How to deal with mentally or physically disabled heirs.

  • How to ensure that heirs will use their share to pay for college, or whatever you had in mind.

  • What happens if an heir "predeceases" you.

  • What special gifts you might want to give, such as to favorite nieces or charities.

To learn more about this critical topic, check out our previous piece on how much funerals cost, as well as the Funeral Consumers Alliance, Profits of Death, and the long but informative Funerals and Ripoffs.

Hey -- it's depressing stuff, but it can save you and your loved ones a lot of headaches and money!

And by the way, if thinking about investing makes your head hurt and you'd like an actual person (a financial pro, no less) to talk to about your financial situation, look into our TMF Money Advisor. This valuable service features customized independent advice from a variety of objective financial experts. You need to make sure you're saving enough, and well enough, to meet all your needs. If you'd like some help doing that, look into this offering. (To take savings matters into your own hands, visit our Savings Center.)

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