Essential Estate Planning Questions and Preparations to Make Before You Pass Away

Back to blog

Essential Estate Planning Questions and Preparations to Make Before You Pass Away

Essential Estate Planning Questions and Preparations to Make Before You Pass Away

It truly sucks that someday we’ll pass away, but it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. One of the main ways to avoid putting additional stress on your loved ones when you pass is to answer some key estate planning questions for yourself. On top of that, there are also some other valuable actions you can take to ensure everything is stress-free when you kick the bucket.

Estate Planning Questions to Ask Yourself: What Documents Do You Need to Gather Before You Die?

Unfortunately, yes, you do need to gather some documentation before you’re committed to a final rest. Hunting and searching for files and certificates are never a joy to do, but once you have these all in one place you’ll never have to search for them again.

You’ll want to set up a spot to securely store these documents and info (since putting them under your mattress won’t do the trick). Getting a safety deposit box in a bank for them is one of the best locations since it’s secure and relatively easy to access if you ever need to use them.

Some of the main documents you’ll want to put together are:

  • Your birth certificate
  • Any property deeds
  • Vehicle titles
  • Marriage certificates
  • Any other official certificates
  • Contact info for all the essential services you use (doctor, life insurance broker, attorney, etc.)

Do I Need to Set Up a Will?

It’s never a bad idea to set up a will, but it’s of greater worth to set up for those who have reached certain milestones in their lives like property ownership, having children, or being married.

A will is easily one of the most important documents to have established before you pass away since it details where you would like your property to go after your death. You can also name a legal guardian for any children and their property, as well as leaving instructions for the care of your pets in a will.

Part of the setup for a will is naming an executor (a person who handles distributing your property) upon your passing. Ideally, this is someone who you trust or a professional like an accountant, lawyer, or financial advisor who has dealt with matters like these before.

Happy family eating after parents did estate planning

What Do You Do if You’re Medically Incapable of Making Decisions?

If you’re medically incapable of making decisions regarding your personal situation due to conditions (like being comatose) you can give someone you trust what’s known as the power of attorney. This gives them the ability to make important decisions on your behalf if you’re not able to make them yourself.

You don’t have to name just one person either. You can give the power of attorney to someone explicitly for making decisions regarding your health, and a different person for making decisions just for your financial affairs. In either case, both (or the same person) are important to name before you’re in that situation and can’t make that call.

How Do You Decide Who Your Life Insurance Money Will Go To?

Whether it’s just a life insurance payout, or money from your bank accounts, deciding how those funds will be broken up among the people you care about is important. These recipients are known as your beneficiaries and don’t always have to be people. A beneficiary could be a charity, research foundation, or even a company.

When it comes to your estate, having an updated list of your beneficiaries is also important as naturally decisions and feelings towards others can change over time.

Happy family with completed estate planning

How Do You Want Your Digital Accounts Handled When You Pass?

One final component to consider is the handling of your digital accounts. In a world where you have a digital account for everything from your streaming services to access to your thermostat, ensuring your accounts don’t fall victim to hacking or identity theft is important.

This can be one of the trickiest aspects to handle since handling accounts post-mortem is a relatively new aspect of our modern world. While deactivating accounts is a relatively common feature getting access to them isn’t which it’s why it’s important to set up an online password vault to provide login credentials to those you trust to secure them and either transfer ownership of or deactivate them.

Dying never happens at a convenient time, so answering all the above questions for yourself and setting your family members up for stress-free transfers of your estate will ensure your passing isn’t one that’s made that much more difficult.



Leave those you care about with the financial means to live their life to the fullest with life insurance customized to your needs. Contact us today to set up an appointment!