I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
Henry David Thoreau

Part of living deliberately nowadays is getting your financial life under control. You can’t really make good financial planning decisions unless you excavate, organize and envision your financial life.

As you think about estate planning, you’ll need to set up documents—a will and powers of attorney at a minimum. But it’s also important to let your heirs know where to find everything. That’s what the Estate Planning Inventory can do for you.

Your planning is not complete without some kind of discussion with your loved ones. Talking to your loved ones about what you plan to do with your estate is the best way to eliminate any confusion and surprises when the time comes.

Let them know who the important people are in your life and how to contact them. That should include family, friends and professional advisors. Where can they find your important papers including your estate documents? Will they need to access a home safe or safe deposit box? Do they know where your keys are and your passwords?

Although it’s not any fun to contemplate, taking these steps is a final gift you can provide your loved ones — one which they will be eternally grateful for having received. And once you’ve taken care of the business of preparing for your death or disability, you can move on to the much happier business of getting on with your life.

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