Have you ever heard the saying, “the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago; the second best time is now”? The same applies to end of life planning.
Setting plans allows for making thoughtful decisions and taking control of life. End-of-life decisions are not easy: however, death is a challenging topic to bring up. Even when we talk about it to ourselves, in the end, it is a kindness we show our loved ones.
What happens when you don’t plan anything at all? Someone else will get to decide how to manage and distribute your possessions or the medical treatment if you can’t communicate.
Taking action now, while you can, lets you make decisions without being in a hurry or stressed. As time passes and your situation changes, you can update your plans. Apart from this, you can also consider these 5 things about the end of life planning.
5 things you need to know about the end of life planning
End-of-life planning is about making decisions beforehand over critical topics like your care or how your possessions will be distributed when the time comes. Even though this is a challenging topic, it’s easier when a plan is in place.
To help you go through this, you can check this small list of things you may want to take care of.
List all relevant documents
End-of-life planning is part of the Estate Plan. As with any big task, you can start with small steps and keep going until it’s done. Create a password list, keep it safe and tell someone you trust where to find it.
Moreover, you may want to list documents related to the following:
- Social media data and how it will be disposed of.
- Bank account records, including safe deposit boxes locations
- Life insurance and policies, funeral insurance, and related.
- Records of debts and obligations.
Also, consider these documents:
- Living trust.
- Living will.
- Last will and testament.
- Power of Attorney documents (PoA).
- Statements on tissue/organ donation.
- Domestic Partnership Agreements.
Meditate about your care
Creating an advance directive document is an excellent way to decide on anything related to medical treatment and choose a healthcare agent, someone who will make health decisions for you in case you can’t come up with them on your own.
Consider how you would like to spend your retirement: whether in an assisted living facility, nursing home, or in-home care.
Think about your possessions
Making a list of your valuable possessions will help you decide to whom you will give them. You can start with things that hold exceptional value for you, like a personal diary or any gift you received a long time ago.
Naturally, you will also want to list worthy possessions like:
- The cash you stored for emergencies.
- Saving/Checking accounts.
- Real estate.
- Life insurance.
- Any other asset you may have.
Decide how you will handle your legacy
Once you have a comprehensive list of everything you deem as valuable assets, you can write down a will to let your family know how they will be distributed.
In addition, you can consult with an attorney about what legal steps you have to follow to make sure your assets stay with whoever you choose to own them.
Depending on your situation and your goals, a will or a trust, or a combination of both, may be more beneficial for you and your loved ones. Ask an expert attorney on wills and trusts, as they can advise you on this matter.
Share your wishes on funeral arrangements
Choosing what arrangements you want for your funeral can be odd, but it takes out the burden of making decisions on this matter from your family and loved ones.
It is a good idea to include this information in your will, the one you write for your family. The decisions you come up with here will be helpful in deciding which funeral insurance best suits you, given that there are many options out there.
Taking time to create end-of-life planning requires courage. We tend to think we still have enough time, but the truth is that we can’t tell for sure what the future holds for us. Planning ahead of time is an excellent strategy to avoid passing this responsibility on to loved ones.
At Cowlitz Law Group, we always support our clients when they are working on their Estate Planning. You can also benefit from our services. For instance, why don’t you claim your complimentary call to ask anything about wills and trust? We will love to hear about your situation.