As you begin to plan your will and last wishes, you may wonder what you need to take into consideration when deciding who should get what.

Thankfully, The National Association of Financial and Estate Planning (NAFEP) offers some heir-planning issues to consider:

  • Whether to bequeath equal or unequal shares.

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

  • How to distribute non-divisible property (such as a house or the prized bowling ball with which you won that tournament).

  • Whether to leave out or disinherit any heirs.

  • What to do when 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.

  • Ensuring that heirs will use their share to pay for college or whatever use 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 Q&A on how much funerals cost, the Funeral Consumers Alliance, Profits of Death, and the long but informative Funerals and Ripoffs.

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

For many more tips on how to get your life in order, financially and otherwise (including how to lop several hundred dollars off your monthly or yearly expenses), try our brand new newsletter, GreenLight. With its personal-finance guidance and practical advice, we suspect that it will pay for itself in short order.