Most people are understandably reluctant to discuss anything to do with death. Therefore, the discussion around planning for one’s death is one that often gets pushed to the back burner until it’s too late. This can have the unfortunate consequence of leaving your family members struggling to access finances to sustain themselves or settle pending bills when you’re not around.
It will also mean that you won’t have a say in managing your finances after your passing. Unsavory as it may seem, it is prudent to look ahead to the time you’re no longer around and begin making plans to ease the lives of your loved ones when you’re gone.
Beginning this process early enough will give you ample time to research, consult and make ample arrangements to ensure a smooth transition for your family.
Preparing for the Inevitable
What comes to mind when you hear about preparing a will or appointing trustees? It’s not unnatural for some folks to feel like they are being hurried into death when such topics come up. It is for this reason that some would rather not discuss how they will be buried when they will die or even think about setting aside money to cater for the attendant expenses.
But death should be looked at as another transition we must embrace, like the transition from childhood to adulthood or singlehood to married life. It is an inescapable part of human existence. Life’s transitions always work out better if some preparations are made well in advance. What are some of these preparations?
You need to prepare some important documents to appoint someone to handle your finances and legal affairs when you’re no longer around or incapacitated by illness. How easy will it be for your loved ones to access your bank accounts and your properties when you’re gone? Are they aware of all your debts or tax obligations?
Besides ensuring your dependents are able to access the wealth you worked hard to leave them, your preparations will allow you to have a say in how your last respects will be done. They will also give you a say in medical decisions concerning you when you no longer have the ability to sign documents to give or deny consent.
How you choose to go about making end-of-life preparations will be determined by how you were brought up, the values you hold dear, and your financial situation. If you have a lot of assets, you will need a lawyer to execute your will. If your situation is more straightforward, simply writing a will and leaving it with a trusted family member is enough.
Start at the End
The best place to start your end-of-life planning is by creating a list of tasks you need to accomplish to facilitate that seamless financial transition for the folks you leave behind. When you appreciate that your pre-end of life is about them and not about you, you will be less apprehensive about doing it. Here are a few items your checklist should include.
Identify the beneficiaries of our will. Besides your partner, children, or other relations, you may want to give a part of your wealth to a charity. Who will you give power of attorney over your legal and financial affairs? Create a will or a trust as per your family’s needs.
Will you have a burial or opt for a cremation? Find out the costs and intricacies each will involve before deciding. After making a decision, you can think about beginning to offset some of the costs of burial or cremation while still earning. This is where life insurance comes in. These policies leave your dependents with finances to take care of bills when you’re not around, and they also provide funds to cover funeral expenses.
Different providers will offer different benefits with their policies. Use online life insurance quotes comparison resources to review and gain as much information as possible from as many providers as possible. This will ensure you get the best value for your premiums.
No Solo Mission
As you think about getting started with your end-of-life planning, you need to involve other people. Talking to your spouse, another trusted family member, a close friend, a legal professional, or a spiritual advisor will help reduce the morbid feeling of such matters. It will also give you a sounding board to help ensure you’re making the right decisions.