Dying is inevitable. As morbid as it may sound, this holds true for everyone. No exceptions. Everybody knows this fact and yet only a handful of individuals actually plan for their death. Death is not a popular topic in any household. It is not your typical mealtime conversation.
And yet, experiences show that unprepared deaths leave tremendous amounts of burdens to those left behind. These burdens are not limited to emotional burdens but also include burdensome tasks like loads of paper works, bills to pay, intestate settlements to name a few. Presently, not planning for death is IMPRACTICAL. Though, we cannot choose how we are going to die, we can however plan how everything will work out after we go.
The first thing to consider when you are preparing for the inevitable is to get life insurance. It assures you that your family will not be left with nothing. It assures your loved-ones who are left behind that they are taken care of financially especially while they are adjusting to their loss. For more information on life insurance check out this article Life Insurance 101.
Prepare a will
To be sure that all your requests will be realized after you go, write a will. If you die intestate or die without a will, your control over your properties die with you. The state under the rule of law automatically controls “who gets what”. Your spouse does not automatically get everything you own.
In some cases, the court even has the right to decide who will be the guardian of your children. And furthermore, dying without a will is more costly and complicated. So prepare a will to ensure yourself that all your wishes will be carried out after your death. Remember also, to UPDATE your will every now and then.
Make the necessary arrangements and preferences yourself
Arrangements include funeral and wake. You can choose the rites and ceremonies you want. You can also decide if you want a burial or if you prefer cremation. You can avoid rites that are against your religious beliefs. You also get to budget everything.
Provide end-of-life documents
These documents are important especially, during those unfavorable events when a person becomes incapacitated. A living will is a document where you state how you want to prolong your life and contains the medical procedures that you prefer. A durable power-of-attorney is also beneficial. It gives another person the power to act and decide on your behalf. It is a document that remains active even when you become incapacitated.
Create a LIVING TRUST
In a living trust you maintain control over all your properties under the trust as long as you are alive and ownership will automatically transfer to your beneficiaries after you pass away. This does not require the participation of the court unlike in probate therefore is less costly and more private.
The possessions you have are not limited to real property (real estate). They may include small valuable things like your favorite china or an heirloom watch. To avoid any disagreements on who gets what, you may want to decide early and inform your heirs about it. You can distribute them beforehand if you feel that it is better that way. You can make a signed list and mention it in your will.
Death is not an easy topic to discuss and planning for it is not a simple task. In fact, it is one of the most traumatic events of life. But looking more closely, the people you care for will benefit more from a planned death. They will be spared of numerous stressful tasks during their moment of grief. So why go unprepared when you can go burden-free?
Do you currently have a will? When was the last time you updated your will? Do you have a durable power of attorney? IF not, why not?