3 Things to Do Now for End of Life Planning

Posted on: 11 September 2017


No one likes to think about their own death, but taking a small amount of time to do so now can save your family a world of heartache and effort later. Fortunately, many of things you need to do to handle end of life planning only require a small initial investment of time, then they can be maintained with little effort going forward. Here are some things to consider setting up.

1. Write your will

Perhaps the most important aspect of end of life planning is writing out your will. This can also be the most time consuming, depending on the size of your estate. At a bare minimum, you need to at least outline your main beneficiary and details on the custody of any minor children. If your goal is simplicity, then the beneficiary will likely be a parent, child, or spouse. You may be able to use a simple will kit for your state, along with the services of a notary, for this. For larger estates or more complicated wills, it is best to consult with an estate planner in your area.

2. Create a document file

One of the most challenging administrative tasks for your family after your passing will be gathering all the documents they need. This includes simple items, like birth certificate, photo ID, and social security number, as well as more important items like copies of the will or life insurance policies. Then, there is the electronic world that includes account passwords and online memberships that may need canceled.

Put together a file that includes copies of all of these things, then store it in a safe place such as a safe deposit box. Make sure your lawyer or a trusted person knows the location of the file as well as how to access it.

3. Prepay your final expenses

One thing your loved ones won't have to deal with is your funeral arrangements—if you plan ahead. Cremation services are cost effective and simple, and you can pay for the entire thing in advance. Many funeral homes even provide payment plans, so you won't have to pay it off all at once if you aren't able. There are no limits when it comes to cremation, so consider what your family will appreciate most. For example, you can have a direct cremation, or you can have a viewing and memorial service followed by cremation.

From there, you can opt for a family member to receive the urn or it can be interred at the memorial park of your choice. By making these decisions now, you will safe your family from having to decide during a difficult time.