Kiplinger

A Guide to the Softer Side of Estate Planning

Who should get Grandma's cherished engagement ring? How would she want her funeral to be arranged? Where are the keys to the shed out back? Who is going to take care of her dog?

The days and weeks after a loved one passes can be filled with equal parts sorrow and confusion. Not only must you say goodbye to an important person in your life, there is the added stress of sifting through their estate to make sure family members and friends receive their inheritance.

Proper estate planning, of course, makes this easier. Hopefully you have a will of your own in place to address the transfer of your financial interests. Beyond that, you'll likely have named an executor to handle those affairs. This is the stage of estate planning where most people stop because they think, "My will directs all the assets in my

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