Over the years, a person is likely to amass a pile of stuff, both physically and on paper. When the time comes for estate planning, many people will choose to streamline and organize their estate to make estate administration easier for the person in charge. By applying commonly used techniques, California residents can have an easier time organizing their estates.
After a person’s death, the heirs will be responsible for sorting through and settling the affairs. One facet of closing out an estate is the physical stuff. In Sweden, individuals use a technique known as Swedish Death Cleaning, which encourages people older than 50 to start the process of sorting, selling and getting rid of items that they no longer use or want. This prevents one’s heirs from having the burden of sorting through piles of things that nobody really wants to keep.
The same process of streamlining and organizing can apply to one’s financial affairs. By choosing to sell off smaller assets or secondary real estate, the person makes settling their own estate simpler. A person can also choose to consolidate investment accounts; for example, many people have several 401(k)s from previous jobs. After everything is sorted, one can use a notebook to gather all the account information, contacts, etc., so that the person handling the estate after one’s death can find all assets easily.
The task of estate administration will be made much easier when the excess has been trimmed away, allowing things to be settled faster and with less expense. In California, a person can name an administrator, draft a will and transfer property with outside help. Many choose the guidance and knowledge of an experienced estate planning attorney for these tasks.
Source: Forbes, “7 Big Estate Planning Mistakes: Leaving A Messy Estate“, Bob Carlson, March 13, 2018