Preparing for Your Death and Estate Planning
by Douglas Gibson
We’re all dying, not one of us can escape
it. Not one. Let’s talk about it…
I learned a lot losing mom and dad, both suddenly and
I learned more about the documents below than I ever
wanted to know.
Feeling like a “grown-up” this weekend having completed
all of them for
myself. Tim has also completed them.
Several friends and family have asked what I’ve done for
going through the process of burying both parents,
having to empty
and sell their home. Well, the documents below are just
They’re also not near as expensive to have completed as
one would think.
Important things I’ve learned and would encourage all
my friends to do ASAP:
- Make sure all bank accounts have direct
beneficiary need only go to the bank with your death
an ID of their own.
- TOD = Transfer On Death deed if you own
a home. Completing this
document and filing it with your county saves your heirs
This document allows you to transfer ownership of your
home to your
designee. All they need to do is take their ID and your
to the county building and the deed is signed over.
Doing this will avoid
the home having to go through probate.
- Living Will: Allows one to put in writing
exactly what you want done in
the event you cannot speak for yourself when it comes to
- Durable Power of Attorney: Allows one to
designate a person to
make legal decisions if one is no longer competent to do
- Power of Attorney for Healthcare: This document
allows one to
designate someone to make healthcare decisions for their
- Last Will and Testament: Designates to whom
will go too.
- Funeral Planning Declaration: allows one to say
wishes as far as disposition of the body and the
- If the above documents are done, at least in MI and
can AVOID probate. If all the above is not done, you
have to open
an estate account at the bank. All money that doesn’t
beneficiaries goes into this account. You have to have
to open the estate account. The attorney also has to
passing in the paper etc., to allow anyone to make a
claim on your
property. - It’s a complete PAIN.
- Make a list of all banks and account numbers,
institutions with account numbers, lists of credit
cards, utility accounts,
etc. Leave clear instructions as to how and when these
things are paid.
Make sure heirs knows where life insurance policies are
- Make 100% sure SOMEONE knows your Apple ID,
bank ID account logins and passwords!!!!
(Mom had a little binder with all of this! )
- Make sure you have titles for all vehicles,
- MOST IMPORTANTLY!!!! - Talk with those closest to you
all your wishes KNOWN. Talk to those whom you’ve
well as those close to you whom you did not designate. -
Do this to
explain why your decisions were made and to avoid any
questions or hurt feelings.
We were fortunate that dad
had almost everything in order.
A huge blessing g to us
was that he had pre planned and prepaid
his funeral just
of days after mom died. Sadly, he had
planned on doing a TOD deed for the house the Monday after he
died. Had he
been able to complete that, it would have saved
thousands in attorney fees and we
could have avoided having to
probate the estate.
Hope this helps! Hope this lights a spark to encourage
friends and family to take care of these things
to make it easier
for those we’ll leave behind!
*** I am NOT an attorney. The above is all simply
I’ve learned on my own. Of course only you
can make decisions
for yourself! My hope is
that the above list at least helps you start
important conversation with your loved ones and an
that can help you complete all the necessary
Attorneys Near Me
and Legacy Law Center PLLC
106 Public Square Suite 212
In 106 Public Square - Office Suites
Gallatin, Tennessee• (833) 735-4968
Mason & Associates Law Firm
1526 Hunt Club Blvd #550
Gallatin, Tennessee - (615) 989-7054
McClellan, Powers, Ehmling & Rogers, P.C.
116 Public Square
Gallatin, Tennessee - (615) 452-5872
Cobb Law Group, LP
131 Walton Ferry Rd Ste. 11
Hendersonville, Tennessee - (615) 649-0049
Your Estate Plan
Estate Planning is not something any
of us want to think about, but it is a
smart and inevitable process to go
through, either prepared or not.
Knowing what is involved is the first
step and making the next move of
actually planning out your estate is
the step too many of us never get
around to doing.
Think of it this way, would you rather
your loved ones bicker, fight, or
create ill feelings for the rest of their
lives? I've seen this and to have
brothers and sisters no longer speak
Finding a competent
attorney to help
your prepare your estate is a smart
step. When I say competent, I mean
one that specializes in Estate
The laws are
always being tweaked
and revised for how certain aspects
of how estates are handled and this
is especially different with each state
so make sure you do your homework
before assuming it is the same
Estate Planning is love for your family