Life after death: The importance of end of life arrangements


*Post in association with Jessica Foreman 

While death is not something we want to think about, unfortunately, it’s inevitable, and we should all try to get things in order sooner rather than later. By doing so, you can make things a lot easier on yourself and your family when you die.

Photo by Carlos Quintero on Unsplash

Planning ahead will enable you to take advantage of the different services that exist and make it easier for your family to know they are acting in accordance with your wishes.

Your estate plan and will

Your estate is everything you own from your home, savings, car, jewellery and anything else with monetary value. If you put together an estate plan you can determine how you will distribute your assets to beneficiaries including family and friends when you pass away.

It can also include instructions for your funeral or memorial service. Some people choose to outline their burial preferences and pre-purchase caskets to make sure everything is in order and just how they’d like it. You can point family members in the direction of services and funeral directors who can help with funeral planning.

Leaving behind inheritance in your will can often bring a frightful amount of fees, taxes and other financial risks. One of the biggest is the legal process for settling an estate, which often includes paying off debts, assets and filing tax returns. But don’t worry, you can minimise these costs by getting life insurance, using trusts and other estate planning tools.

Your estate plan can be used to address challenges or difficulties you may face while you’re still alive too. Should you lack the ability to make decisions or communicate towards the end of your life, your family may be forced to make decisions on your behalf. If you have put these documents together beforehand, everything will be handled the way you want it to.

Creating an estate plan and will isn’t something you do once and then never have to worry about again. You can review and update it every five years or when something major happens or changes in your life from the birth of new child, loss of a spouse or divorce.

Appoint a person to make decisions for you

Another way of planning for your funeral is to appoint another person to make decisions for you, should you become too unwell to do so.

Think of someone that you trust with your life and finances, then approach them to have the conversation. They should be someone you know well and who is able to speak about sensitive issues. They should understand what is important to you, and be able to act on your wishes – even when faced with opposition from family members.

Planning personal matters

There may be personal matters that you also wish to put into place, such as planning to visit somewhere special with friends or having a particular request for your funeral, burial or cremation. Regardless of what your wishes may be, you may want to talk these things through with your close relatives or friends before your death.

Although death is hard to talk about, it is important to take care of these things that matter for your own sake and your family.

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