Thinking about death is not exactly high up on anyone’s list of fun things to do. However, ignoring the inevitable ultimately places an even greater emotional and financial burden on loved ones. Planning for things like funeral expenses, lost income and more is key to helping those loved ones focus on the grieving process rather than the financial aspect of one’s estate plan.
The average cost of a funeral comes out to about $9,000. This cost has shot up dramatically since the 1980s when one could expect to pay only about $3,000 for the same services. Since the cost of living has also gone up for most people in Texas, covering the cost of a funeral is simply out of reach. Securing a life insurance policy as part of an estate plan can not only ensure that those funeral costs are covered, but it can also replace the deceased’s paycheck or simply provide financial stability to loved ones.
It is also a good idea to think about debt when estate planning. Although debt usually dies along with a person, there are exceptions. For example, if someone cosigned a loan, shared a credit card account or otherwise shared some type of debt, the remainder of that debt will go to the surviving party. Specifying how funds are to be used for any remaining debt can address some of that financial burden.
A good estate plan is about more than just managing one’s finances after death. It is an opportunity to pass on inheritances to heirs, make one’s end-of-life wishes clear and to create a lasting legacy. There are different tools that can help accomplish this goal, such as wills and trusts, and it is important to evaluate one’s own unique needs before deciding how to proceed with estate planning. An experienced attorney who is familiar with estate planning in Texas may be able to offer helpful guidance during this process.