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How to Approach End of Life Planning
It’s never easy to think about end of life planning. But, making important legal, financial, and medical decisions can help you and your loved ones prepare and make peace with what’s to come. This article will help you figure out what your next steps should be.
Make a Will
One of the most important steps of end of life planning is officially writing up a will. Although it can be difficult to make big financial decisions. You need to fully consider your options in advance so that your loved ones know what to do. These can include what to do with your possessions, money, and accounts. Also, who you would like your beneficiaries to be.
A will makes it clear who gets what to avoid disagreement and confusion down the line. If you are unsure how to make these decisions, consider seeking the help of a lawyer or other legal authority. It’s always better to clearly make your end of life wishes known in advance and officially recognized.
Your loved ones will also be the ones to manage your accounts once you no longer can. This means they will need access to your records and financial information. My Family Documents is a secure storage tool. It allows you to safely organize detailed personal documents, account passwords, and financial information in a convenient device. You want to minimize the stress and hassle your loved ones have to go through after you’re gone. My Family Documents can make it easier for them to take care of important business following your death.
Arrange your funeral
Amidst the grief and stress of losing a loved one, a completely unplanned funeral can present another challenge for those left behind. Without your guidance and preferences clearly detailed ahead of time, loved ones can be left scrambling to do the best they can. This can lead to unnecessary tension and uncertainty.
Planning your own funeral allows you to make your end of life wishes known. It relieves some of the pressure from your loved ones. Many funeral homes allow you to prepay for their services. This takes away much of the financial burden of end of life costs from loved ones.
There are important choices about your funeral. They include how you want your body to be handled after your death. Also, what you want the tone of your service to look like. Some people prefer a traditional ceremony while others opt for a more modern celebration of life. You can also consider what flowers, music, and messages you would like at your service.
You can also make other decisions concerning essential aspects of the funeral and its aftermath. Such as who you would like to read the eulogy and how you would like your obituary to read. While you might struggle to make some of these decisions or not have a particular preference about some of them. It’s important that you have communicated your end of life plans clearly with your loved ones, so they can proceed with the comfort that they are doing what you would have wanted.
Indicate your power of attorney
Your power of attorney is a family member, close friend, or lawyer who you are formally trusting with your financial and end of life care decisions if you can no longer manage your own affairs. Your power of attorney will assume responsibility for your financial and medical choices. This means they should be someone you know well and trust to carry out your wishes.
You can nominate anyone over the age of 18 to be your power of attorney. Since it is such a considerable responsibility, though, you should talk with them to make sure they are comfortable with it and clearly understand your preferences. My Family Document’s storage device will make referencing your wishes and taking care of important financial business much easier for your power of attorney and other loved ones. It provides your loved ones a well-organized, secure way of accessing all your personal information in one place.
Your end of life planning is not complete without a clear indication of who you want to be making the important decisions if you no longer can. Make sure you have officially nominated your power of attorney, so your end of life decisions are in good hands.
Decide how you want a medical crisis handled
It’s important to make end of life decisions that align with your values, preferences, and needs. A serious medical crisis could render you unable to make your own decisions about end of life care, which means the responsibility would then fall to your power of attorney. Making sure you’ve carefully talked through your preferences and expectations will be a significant relief to your loved ones should the situation arise.
Possible situations can include a condition that leaves you unconscious, one that requires your connection to life sustaining medical equipment, or one with a terminal prognosis. Under these circumstances, how would you like your loved ones to proceed with your care? What are your preferences regarding palliative care versus medical care? How do you feel about life-prolonging treatment?
These are critical decisions that can be overwhelming and stressful when left to loved ones alone. As part of your end of life planning, be upfront about how you would like to be treated in case you and your loved ones find yourselves in a situation like these.
Plan your end of life housing
As you get older, you might find yourself in need of more care or assistance for daily living. In the event of a more serious medical condition, how and where would you like to receive care? There are several different options for end of life housing—in-home care, nursing home care, and hospice care are common options.
While you cannot entirely choose where you die, if you would rather avoid life-prolonging treatments or if you would prefer to die at home, your loved ones can act on those preferences and do their best to make sure your end of life wishes are respected. Alternatively, you can choose to seek hospice care or nursing home care. Then you can help your loved ones by narrowing down prospective facilities.
Although end of life housing is largely dependent on your needs and the services available through different options, if you have a strong feeling about a type of care, it can help guide your loved ones in the event that they need to make decisions regarding how you are taken care of in the future.
End of life planning can be challenging. It’s the only way you can be sure your loved ones understand how you would like them to proceed leading up to and after your death. You want to give your loved ones (and yourself) peace of mind. When the time comes everyone is prepared and free of uncertainty about what you would have wanted.