What do I do to make sure my siblings are taken care of upon my death.

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What do I do to make sure my siblings are taken care of upon my death.

My 2 siblings live with me and they are both on disability. I have less than 200K in savings and IRA and have 12 years left on my mortgage. I want to make sure my siblings can remain in my home and access any assets I have upon my death. I don’t know where to start.

Asked on May 9, 2018 under Estate Planning, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

1) You can leave your home to your siblings in a will, BUT if the mortgage is not paid off when you did, it will come due when you pass; if it is not paid off then, the bank can foreclose. So you want to pay down the mortgage as much as possible and make sure there are enough funds to pay the balance.
2) You can also leave all other assets (money, personal items, investments, etc.) to your siblings by will. You may wish to put some money (enough for 2 - 3 months of expenses) into a joint account with one or both siblings, or into an account that is pay on death (POD)/transfer on death (TOD) to one of them, so they will have access to that money right away, without having to go through the probate process.
3) If one of them would make a good executor, appoint him or her; if not, appoint a trusted friend or other relative to be executor. Give copies of the will to siblings and executor. You want to let them begin probating immediately.
4) Take out whatever life insurance you can afford on your budget, given health and age, and make your siblings beneficiaries. Even if all it does is pay funeral costs and maybe a bit left over for other expenses, that will help.


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