Planning for Your Passing: A Final Act of Love for Your Family | thehumblepennys

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Planning for Your Passing: A Final Act of Love for Your Family

Facing our own mortality isn’t an easy topic to broach. Still, the reality is that it might not be an extreme event that challenges our existence but rather an everyday mishap like a car crash or health issue. If we don’t make plans in advance, we leave the hard decisions – like what happens to our assets, children, or even pets – up to others.

Is that something you’d want?

Certainly not.

Discussing the end might feel eerie, but this conversation can simplify the aftermath for those we leave behind. Think of it as a final gesture of love.

Here’s a brief guide on subjects to broach and questions to ponder:

Planning for the End
When my partner was deployed, our talks inevitably veered towards the ‘what ifs’. This is essentially estate planning. Losing a partner is heart-wrenching; planning a memorial during grief is daunting. If there’s prior discussion or written instructions, it provides clarity. This ensures that their last wishes are respected.

Life Insurance: Do You Have It?
Life insurance is critical for ensuring your family’s well-being after you’re gone. It can be employed in various ways:

  • The primary use is to handle funeral costs. As of 2021, the average funeral price, including a burial, was $7,848. It’s shocking to consider how much our final resting place can cost.
  • Regardless of whether you opt for burial or cremation, costs pile up. Insurance can assist in covering these expenses. Furthermore, buying life insurance early can be economical.

Before purchasing, research is essential. While Dave Ramsey recommends term life policies, others favor whole life. Delve deeper into this topic.

Do Both of You Have a Will?
Having a will is essential to determine how your assets are allocated after you pass. Sadly, many Americans don’t have one. Wills need to align with state regulations, so ensure yours does. While loved ones might respect an unofficial will, any disputes require a legal one. A will eliminates ambiguities, especially concerning your children’s guardianship if unmarried.

People often dodge drafting wills, fearing confronting mortality. Yet, procrastination doesn’t add to one’s lifespan. Even a simple gesture, like a sentimental note, can be invaluable to a loved one.

Several websites offer free will templates. Store your will securely and ensure your executor and a few trusted individuals know its location.

Living Wills: Are They Necessary?
Unlike regular wills, living wills express your preferences regarding medical treatment in life-threatening situations. It helps your kin avoid making tough calls for you.

Is a Medical Power of Attorney Required?
A medical power of attorney clarifies your healthcare preferences if you’re incapacitated. Unlike a living will, it’s applicable in any situation where you’re unable to voice your desires. You should always keep these documents handy for easy access during emergencies.

Thought About Trust Funds?
You can set money aside for loved ones with stipulations, like age restrictions. Trust funds offer a structured way to financially aid your family posthumously.

Who Should Care for Your Kids?
Decide who’ll raise your children if both parents are gone. This decision prevents potential custody disputes among relatives.

What About Pets?
Make plans for your pets. Without arrangements, they might end up in shelters.

Funeral/Memorial Preferences
A plethora of details accompany funeral planning. Discuss your desires openly with your partner.

Preserving Memories
Leave behind cherished photos, journals, or letters for posterity. Digitally back up memories.

Organize Essential Documents
Maintain a folder containing crucial documents. Keep updated passwords and account details, too.

Death is an inevitable part of life. Addressing it head-on, while uncomfortable, ensures a smoother transition for the bereaved. If you achieve only one thing today, draft a basic will. Update it as necessary.

Lastly, safeguard your will copies adequately.

In Conclusion
Death preparation isn’t solely about confronting the end. It’s about retaining autonomy in later years and ensuring your wishes are honored. Everyone faces mortality, but are you ready for the aftermath? Dedicate time to discussing the inevitable with your partner. This open dialogue ensures peace of mind and readiness for unforeseen tragedies.

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