For most people, it is difficult to face the reality of death; no one wants to think about the end of their own lives or those of their loved ones. But death is something that we must all face, and one of the most compassionate things you can do for your own family is end of life planning. Taking the time to make sure all of your affairs are in order will take the burden off of your family so they can focus on mourning when your life ends. The keys to end of life planning include:
Write Your Will
No matter what your net worth is, it is important to have a will drawn up in advance so your possessions and assets will be distributed the way you want them to be. Your best option is to consult a lawyer who specializes in estate planning. If you do not have the funds available to see a lawyer, there are kits available that will help you write your will yourself. It is a good idea to review your will every few years and make changes if needed.
Plan Your Funeral
Your funeral is a time for your family and friends to celebrate your life and mourn your passing. The death of a loved one is a very emotional event, and planning a funeral immediately after a death can be very stressful. You can remove this burden from the shoulders of your family members by planning your funeral yourself. This has become increasingly popular, and many funeral homes will work with you and keep your plans on file so every detail is taken care of when the time comes.
In addition to planning your actual funeral service, in life it is important to make the decision of whether you want to be buried or cremated. If you opt for a burial, choose your final resting place and purchase a burial plot. Many spouses who choose burial opt to buy adjoining burial plots.
Take Care of the Financial Side of the End of Life
Depending on the type of funeral that you want, and whether you choose burial or cremation, the final expenses can be high. Don't leave your family members footing the bill for your funeral—make plans to have funds available to take care of all costs. You may set money aside in a savings account, purchase a life insurance policy that is designated for funeral expenses, or pay a funeral home directly if you know the exact company that you want to use for your own funeral.