Losing a loved one is difficult and emotional. Unfortunately, so many decisions need to be made upon a person’s death from planning funeral services, deciding between cremation or burial, deciding what to do with the loved one’s property, and dealing with the probate process. At such a distressing time, not knowing the decedent’s wishes can make it very stressful for those you leave behind.

Instead of burdening your family with making these decisions for you, make these decisions yourself ahead of time. You can do this through estate planning. A Will can appoint a Personal Representative who is charged with handling your assets after your death. Through a Will, a person can provide for the distribution of their property by naming the individual(s) they’d like to inherit their property. A Will should also contain a “Funeral Provisions” article and detail whether you would want to be cremated or buried. Additionally, a Will allows you to appoint a guardian of any minor children. If you have property that you want to go to a beneficiary that has special needs or is young and/or not ready to handle the gift responsibly, a Will can instruct that the beneficiary’s distribution shall be held in trust for them subject to certain terms and conditions. These provisions give guidance on your wishes and instruction as to how your wishes should be carried out, thus saving your loved ones a great deal of stress.