End of Life Planning Basics

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Life is about joy, family, and love. It’s about experiencing every moment, both the good ones and the bad, and doing the best we can to help others experience the best that life has to offer them. And life is about death, too: our lives are beautiful in part because we know that each moment we appreciate is part of a journey that does not last forever.

Sharing the best of ourselves with others means acknowledging the reality of death and doing our very best to ensure that the people we care about are not unduly burdened by it. We each want the best for our families and other loved ones, so we should each strive to make things easier on them by handling basic end-of-life planning.

Why plan for the end?

Death is inevitable, but we don’t know when it will come — so you might ask yourself, what’s the sense in worrying? Well, there is no sense in worrying, but there is plenty of sense in planning. When a person passes away, their loved ones have to deal with the grief of their passing. They also, unfortunately, must deal with financial and logistical concerns: the cremation or burial, the funeral or services, the will and estate, and so on.

All of this can be stressful and difficult. Coping with funerals and funeral planning can be tough even for well-adjusted adults. Grief and mourning are difficult enough without the added chores and expenses. To avoid putting your loved ones through this, you can do the work ahead of time and leave them with a well-organized and well-funded plan for your remains and your estate.

How to plan for the end of your life

Your end-of-life plan should reflect your priorities and your values. Now is the time to decide whether you’d prefer burial or cremation and what sort of services should be held. You can and should work with businesses that provide these services, according to experts at Heritage Cremation Provider. Learn more about your options; depending on where you are in your life, it may make sense to pay ahead of time for things like a cemetery plot or cremation services.

Paying up front for major funeral expenses is not possible for everyone, but you can still do other things to help safeguard your family’s financial future after your passing. One great step to take is to invest in life insurance. Paying into a life insurance policy ensures that your loved ones are covered in the event of your death, and it is particularly helpful for those who do not expect to die soon. For those people, life insurance provides a safety net, covering funeral expenses and making up for lost income in the event of any sudden tragedies.

You’ll want to work with an attorney, too. It is never too early to set up a will. A well-organized legal will can help ensure that your wishes are respected and make things a lot easier on loved ones who will already be stressed and upset. And share your plans with loved ones. Be mindful of how you bring up your plans because not everyone handles discussions of death and funerals as well as they might wish they did. But with tactful language and clear communication, you can convey your wishes to the loved ones who will help ensure that they are carried out.

Sharing your plans will let your loved ones know where to look and who to turn to when you pass away. And while your loved ones may not take pleasure in discussing such things with you, they’ll rest easier knowing that your wishes are clear and that you have provided (where possible) financial safety nets that keep everything affordable.