Losing a loved one is always difficult. Research has shown the death of a close family member to be among the 10most stressful events people experience in their entire lives. Adding practical matters like clearing out the deceased’s possessions and planning a funeral can make this already tough time even more difficult. You can alleviate the burden on those you will leave behind by preparing for your own passing in advance. This also assures that your wishes will be respected, giving you peace of mind as well.
Downsize Your Belongings
Take the time to sort through your possessions and get rid of those items you no longer need. By paring down your life, you spare your family the time of sorting through boxes upon boxes of items they don’t know what to do with. A good rule of thumb: If you haven’t used it in the past year, you probably won’t use it in the next one. Consider donating, selling, or trashing it, depending on its condition.The experts at MoneyCrashers also provide some helpful tips, such as digitizing sentimental photos and setting accumulation limits.
Prepare an Estate Plan
An estate plan designates what happens to your assets when you pass on and allows you toprevent potential inheritance battles. It could cover savings, pension funds, investments, property, and heirlooms. This documentation should be drawn up by an attorney to ensure it is legally binding. You can choose between a will or a living trust: Both allow you to designate beneficiaries, but they have key differences in how they are executed. A will must be authenticated by the probate courts, for instance, while a trust does not.This article further explains the differences between the two.
Designate a Power of Attorney
If you become mentally or physically unable to make your own health care and financial decisions before your death, your family is left to make these tough calls on your behalf. Ease the situation by designating a power of attorney (POA). This names a person to make choices on medical or money matters for you (it doesn’t necessarily have to be the same individual). Your financial POA can determine things like how your money should be invested and file taxes on your behalf. Your healthcare POA can make choices such as where you should receive treatment and where you will live.
Get Final Expense Insurance
Final expense insurance covers future burial or funeral fees, ensuring your family doesn’t have to carry these costs. According to Lincoln Heritage, many plans are flexible and could range from as little as $18 up to $286 per month. The price will depend on factors like your current age and health as well as the level of coverage you want. Possible points to consider include the actual service, a burial plot, and flowers, among others. Burial insurance can also cover any medical expenses that you leave behind, which will help ease the financial burden on your family as they grieve your loss.
Don’t rush the process or devote all your time to it but leave space forsenior self-care as you go through these steps. After you’ve completed the list, communicate your actions to your family. This can be emotional for you and them too, as the thought of a loved one passing is never easy. Keep the conversation positive. Remind them (and yourself) that this is a way to ensure your own wishes are honored and to ease the stress for those you leave behind. This will allow you to keep an optimistic outlook throughout the process.
Photo Credit: Pexels