According to the National Association of Financial and Estate Planning (NAFEP), 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 they receive specified chunks at specified ages.)

  • How to distribute non-divisible 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 that spends with abandon.

  • How to deal with mentally or physically disabled heirs.

  • Ensuring 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.

Also, check out our previous pieces on how much funerals cost, 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!