What’s one thing many people know will happen but fail to plan adequately for?
Do you have any end-of-life plans? 67 percent of Americans don’t have an estate plan, so it’d be fair to assume that you don’t have any plans either. The good news, though, is you’re ready to take action and put your affairs in order.
Planning for end of life involves a number of important aspects, all of which must be approached carefully. In this article, we’re sharing expert insight on end-of-life planning, enabling you to make well-informed decisions.
Come with us.
Making Plans for Your Health
Although death strikes in different ways, most seniors typically succumb to chronic diseases. As you walk into your sunset years, your health is bound to deteriorate. Conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are common among older adults.
As such, planning for your health is a vital part of end-of-life planning. What kind of treatment would you like to receive if you were to fall into a comma or lack mental capacity, for example? Would you like to be put through physician-assisted suicide if you were to suffer from a painful, debilitating illness?
When you plan for your end times in advance, you have the ability to flesh out your wishes about your health. Importantly, you can elect someone to make medical decisions or act on your behalf in the event that you’re unable to. You can do this by creating a legal document known as medical power of attorney.
Making Plans for Your Burial
Most people who die without specifying how they’d like their remains to be disposed of are buried according to their cultural customs. But what if you wanted something different?
Perhaps you’d want your remains to be cremated and your ashes scattered in the sea. Or maybe you’d want to donate your whole body to a medical research facility. Or perhaps you’re fine with a traditional burial, only that you’d want to be buried shortly after death.
Regardless of your burial wishes, they’re more likely to be fulfilled when you take a practical approach to end-of-life planning. You can put these wishes in your last will and testament, in addition to sharing them with your family while you still have mental capacity.
Another important aspect of making plans for your burial is the cost. On average, funeral costs range between $7,000 and $20,000. This isn’t some change that your loved ones can raise on short notice after your death.
Planning for funeral expenses is not only a responsible thing to do but also helps ease financial pressure from your loved ones at a time of mourning. You can set aside funds for the funeral, but it’s savvier to take out funeral insurance. Learn about funeral insurance and how it can make a huge difference.
Estate planning is the first thing that comes to mind when most people think of writing a will – and for good reason. After a life of hard work, you’ve accumulated assets such as your home, vehicles, and jewelry.
The distribution of a deceased person’s estate is one of the things that must happen soon after the burial. If you die intestate (without a will), your estate will be distributed according to your state’s intestate succession laws. Is that something you’d like?
Planning your estate when you have the legal capacity gives you greater control over how you’d like your belongings to be passed down. While you have a number of estate planning techniques to choose from, including wills and trusts, you must draw them in accordance with the relevant laws.
It’s advisable to hire an estate planning attorney to advise you all the way; otherwise, you risk creating a plan that can’t stand up to scrutiny in a court of law.
Financial Protection for Your Family (Dependents)
It’s everyone’s desire to leave behind a healthy estate for their families after passing on. If you’ve got a spouse and/or children who depend on you financially, your death can leave a devasting impact on them. Imagine your family going through eviction because they can no longer afford to pay the mortgage after your death.
Planning for the financial well-being of your family is a key part of end-of-life planning. What options do you have?
If you’re a high-net-worth individual, it’s likely that you have enough cash or cash equivalents that your family can tap into after your death. Purchasing life insurance is also a good option, and it’s ideal for anyone regardless of their wealth status.
There are different types of life insurance, but they all have one thing in common: a tax-free cash payout to beneficiaries upon the passing of the policyholder.
Planning for End of Life Is a Smart Thing to Do
While it might be taboo or against the human will to talk about death, let alone plan for it, it’s a reality that awaits everyone. And when it strikes, it leaves sorrow and voids that will never be filled in the hearts of your loved ones. Planning for end of life won’t soften the blow, but it can make life a lot easier for those you’ll leave behind.
With this guide, you now know the important aspects of end-of-life planning. Take them into account when making your plans.
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