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Estate planning tips: organize and streamline

Mar 20, 2018 | Probate & Estate Administration

No one wants to feel like they inherited a mess. Whether physical or financial, the mess can be daunting to a person who is sorting through it while grieving. An individual who wishes to offer a cleaned-up, easy-to-sort-through estate to their heirs may benefit from the estate planning tip to organize and streamline the process. Florida residents can apply several strategies to avoid leaving a messy estate. 

In Sweden, there is a part of the culture known as Swedish Death Cleaning. As they get to age 50 or so, individuals will often start to pare down the physical clutter in their lives in order to live more simply and also to avoid leaving a mountain of things behind for heirs to sort through. Many people today wish to have less stuff in their lives, and objects that a person may be saving for children or grandchildren simply aren’t wanted.

Financially, it can also be useful to simplify. Smaller assets and secondary real estate can be sold off. The individual may also wish to consolidate investment accounts and record important account information in a notebook for easy reference. After one’s death, having all the information neatly supplied makes it less likely that something will be overlooked or that the executor will be overwhelmed. 

Many Florida residents have second properties, vacation homes, old 401(k)s and decades of collectibles that they have accumulated over the years. As part of the estate planning process, some will choose to whittle them down. When planning for the financial side of transferring assets, some people feel that they need some extra help. An experienced attorney could be useful, since they provide services that relate to settling an estate. 

Source: Forbes, “7 Big Estate Planning Mistakes: Leaving A Messy Estate“, Bob Carlson, March 13, 2018