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The Importance of End of Life Planning and How It’s Accomplished

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Are you concerned that your assets won’t be properly distributed amongst your loved ones when you’re gone? Do you dread the thought of placing the burden of planning your funeral on your loved ones after you pass? If so, then you need to start your end-of-life planning.

Doing so can help your friends and relatives in a myriad of ways. It involves planning your estate, your funeral arrangements, and even the decisions in your healthcare that might lead to your passing.

As daunting as it can be, it’s necessary. See below for an in-depth guide highlighting your end-of-life planning checklist.

Determine Your End-of-Life Care

We have all heard of those times where a loved one has had to decide the medical treatment, or lack thereof, for a loved one. A situation could arise in which your loved one is forced to make a decision on whether or not further medical treatment should be given.

Can you imagine putting your loved one in that situation? Without an end-of-life care plan in place, that’s likely to happen.

First, start this process by asking a loved one to be your medical power of attorney. This doesn’t necessarily have to be your closest relative or friend, you might choose to ask someone you know is steadfast and will hold true to your decisions. Especially if they’re tough decisions like this one.

Make sure that you communicate with your self-appointed medical power of attorney and your loved ones about your end-of-life care. It can help you in a variety of ways.

First, it removes the burden and responsibility from the hands of your loved ones and the medical professionals overseeing your care. Especially in a situation where a progressive illness or your depleting health makes it hard to justify continued care.

Perhaps most importantly, it helps your loved ones understand the reasoning behind your end-of-life care wishes. That way, they can have more peace with it once your wishes are fulfilled.

Plan Your Funeral

We know. Those three words in the header can be hard to swallow. The fact remains that all of us will one day have a funeral. There will be a time in which our loved ones mourn our loss and take the time to grieve. That’s a beautiful thing!

However, what’s not beautiful is placing the responsibility of planning that funeral on your loved ones before they’ve had a chance to grieve your passing. Especially if the financial burden falls on them as well (which it never should).

For that reason, you have two goals: 1) plan your funeral ahead of time, and 2) pay for your funeral ahead of time. If you can do those two things, you’ll be golden!

For pre-planning your funeral, you’ll need to establish your interment preference (whether you will be buried or cremated). If you choose the latter, be sure to reach out to this amazing cremation provider.

Next, you need to elaborate on any specific details you’d like for the ceremony. If you don’t have any, you may hire a celebrant to help you pre-plan.

Lastly, you’ll want to make sure the cost of your funeral is covered. Of course, you can do this by putting money aside for the occasion. However, there’s also funeral insurance you can invest in.

Plan Your Estate

Did you know that if you die without a will, then the state you reside in will be the one deciding how your assets are distributed. If the idea of that doesn’t bother you, it should.

Someone else with their own agenda will be in charge of determining where your assets go, and they won’t be overly concerned with how much or how little your loved ones get. Safe to say, you need to plan ahead.

Start by listing all of the assets that you own. Not sure what qualifies as an asset? This could be things such as:

  • Corporate Assets
  • Savings Accounts in Your Name
  • Land You Own
  • Life Insurance Policies You Invested In
  • Retirement Plans You Were Saving for
  • Jewelry
  • Your Car(s)
  • Art That You Collected

The list goes on and on. Anything of great importance to you and your family needs to stay with whoever you deem worthy. Create a will to determine your guardians and specify how you want your assets to be distributed.

It’s worth noting that if your assets are worth over $160,000, you would be better suited to create a trust. This can help your loved ones avoid a lot of headaches in the future.

Choose Your End of Life Housing

How do you prefer to be cared for towards the end of your life? There are three main options for you to choose from: in-home care (at your house), assisted living, or a nursing home.

If you decide on one of the latter two, you’ll want to consider the amenities that each establishment offers you. After all, if you’ll be living there the rest of your life, you want to make sure you’re cared for properly! Take your closest confidants with you as you tour different facilities.

For those of you that choose in-home care, you need to make sure that you interview a few different people for the position or find an in-home care provider to invest in.

Start Your End of Life Planning Today

Tomorrow is never guaranteed. Now that you’ve read a guide on end-of-life planning, it’s time for you to start planning yours today.

Make sure that your loved ones are involved in the entire process. Otherwise, they’ll be blindsided when you pass.

Be sure to browse our website for more articles on end-of-life planning, as well as many other helpful topics.

David Smith