Contemplating your own death isn’t always on top of your to-do list, yet many experts advise everyone to get their affairs in order before that dreadful day. You might think that only rich folks should do this, but everyone benefits from the end of life planning, which encompasses much more than just writing the last will. Things like where your body will be laid to rest, what type of funeral you prefer – burial or cremation, among others, should be decided long before your death. These preparations on how you would like things to be done once you’re gone can give you peace of mind now, as well as spare your loved ones a lot of hassle later. Now, what are the things you have to get in order before you die?
Execute Your Last Will
Regardless of how much or how little you have, when you die, all that you’ve acquired in this world will be passed on to someone else. It could be your children, orphanage, or close relative. Either way, writing your will is very important since you’ll be able to designate who gets what. In case you die without having allocated your money, homes, and cars properly, it can lead to serious family disputes over who thinks is entitled to those assets.
If there isn’t any last will left behind by the deceased, the state gets involved and distributes the assets according to their terms.
Power of Attorney
Giving someone power of attorney allows them to be in charge of making decisions if you become incapacitated or when you die. You may decide to put two separate people, on to handle health affairs, while the other one to deal with financial matters. The person in charge of health care matters should ensure that your wishes regarding medical treatment are followed. A living will go hand in hand with the durable power of attorney, all of which aim at allowing another person to make decisions for you should you be put on life support or die.
Plan Your Funeral
You can ease the pain of your death for survivors by preplanning your own funeral. Let them know how you want your body to be disposed of, either burial or cremation. If you plan on donating your organs, arrange that in advance and carry an organ donation card with you. Also, keep a second card with your important documents for quick access should you have an accident. Additionally, you should acquire life insurance to be used if your spouse or children need financial support after you die. In fact, some people even have a separate account where they have set aside the money to be used for the entire funeral process.
Put Together All your Stuff
You must compile a list of all your credit cards, checking, and savings accounts, plus don’t forget to include where they’re held and branch information if necessary. Write down details of your attorney, who helped draft your legal documents, your doctors, health insurance, among others. You want to make sure that the person assuming your responsibility when you die will have an easy time. For assets, list down your retirement accounts, any property you own, including mortgage, saving bonds, certificates of deposit, etc. You can omit the account numbers for security purposes; what really important is to have a laid down plan for whoever will be handling your affairs. In addition to that, student loans, auto loans, mortgages, credit cards, and any other type of loan should be listed too. Remember to include utilities, rent, subscription, child support, donations, and membership.
Keep Everything Updated
Once you’ve drafted your will and all other important documents, don’t just put them in a safe place and forget about them. At least yearly, perhaps on your birthday, you should go over them and ensure they still reflect your intentions. If you’ve acquired new assets not mentioned in the will, include them. Ensure everything is accounted for.
Talk to Your Loved Ones
Aside from putting everything down on paper, you need to have that one on one talk with the people close to you, which is priceless. The clearer you’re on what you want, especially in regards to your funeral, the more likely it is that your wishes will be followed. Also, they will have fewer problems since they don’t have to guess your intentions. However, such talk shouldn’t be all about your death, you can use such a moment to share your life experiences and memories and even pass on cherished photographs and stories. Treat it as a family reunion where everyone is welcomed to share their experiences too.
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