More people are scared of public speaking than dying. This prompted the comedian Jerry Seinfeld to quip that:
“This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.”
And yet, the discussion of death is never easy. Despite this, it’s important to ensure that your end of life preparation is taken care of being you pass away.
Are you not convinced of the benefits of preparing for the end of life? Read below for the reasons why you should reconsider. Let’s get started!
1. Ensure Your Relatives Get Their Inheritance
Nearly 60 percent of Americans don’t have a will or living trust.
The number is higher for baby boomers. And yet, roughly 40 percent of them don’t have one either.
If you don’t have a will or living trust when you die it is left to the state to determine how your assets are distributed.
Therefore, without an estate plan, your estate can be taken in the form of taxes under the law of the state.
But, you can ensure your relatives get their inheritance by planning ahead. This is an important part of your preparation for the end of life.
You may also want to donate some of your assets to a particular cause or charity after your death. You can also do this in your will.
2. Got Children? Protect Them!
Up to 60 percent of parents in the US have not named a legal guardian for their children.
If you have children under 18 years old, you need to name a legal guardian in case something happens to you.
If you don’t have anything legally in place, the state will decide on your behalf who has custody of your children.
This could be a traumatic and extensive process which could put stress on your children’s lives.
However, it can be simply avoided by naming a legal guardian now.
3. Clarify the Healthcare You Want
Nearly two-thirds of Americans have absolutely no advanced medical directives.
If you find yourself in hospital under life-threatening circumstances, this can indicate to the medical professionals the type of healthcare you want to receive.
Without any instructions, medical professionals are permitted to make decisions about your healthcare without your consent.
You need to complete a legal document which clarifies the type of healthcare you want to receive in a medical emergency. This can help to reduce stress for your family and save time for the doctors.
4. Donate Your Organs
Around 95 percent of Americans are in favor of organ donations when they die. Unfortunately, only 54 percent are registered donors.
There is always a high demand for organ donations. Tragically, only about half of the people waiting urgently for an organ donation will ever receive one.
Therefore, you could miss the opportunity to help other people live on when you can’t anymore. There are over 100,000 people on the waiting list for new organs.
Remember, you could save someone’s life by filling out the organ donor document.
5. Plan Your Funeral as You Wish
Over 60 percent of Americans say that they think to communicate their funeral plans and wishes before their own death was important.
However, only 21 percent of Americans have actually already done this.
Is it important for you to be remembered in a particular manner? You don’t want your family and friends to be falling out of your funeral plans.
You may also have specific wishes for your funeral arrangements.
It’s important to inform your friends and family before your death. For example, you may decide you want this service to arrange the flowers for your funeral.
6. Plan Your Digital Legacy
Do you know what happens to your social media accounts when you die?
It depends on the social media network. On the social media giant Facebook, you can assign a “legacy contact.”
This gives somebody you trust access to your photographs, videos, and other information if you die.
It will become their responsibility to manage your digital legacy when you’re gone. Pretty freaky, eh?
What about Instagram?
Instagram just removes your account to “protect the privacy of people.”
This is similar for Twitter as well, who deletes your account after six months without any activity.
You can plan your digital legacy yourself by providing a trusted friend or family member with your account login details.
If you don’t care what happens to your social media accounts, then you don’t have to do anything here.
7. Reduce the Stress of Your Loved Ones
Your loved ones are already going to be grieving after you die. It’s important to remove the stress and emotional burden of financial and health arrangements.
Remember, when you’re planning your end of life, you’re helping your loved ones with dealing with your passing.
It’s important to talk with the relevant members of your family and friends about the decisions you have made.
You should also allow them to ask any questions about your decisions now rather than always wondering about your motivations.
Reasons for End of Life Preparation
You may not want to think too much about what happens when you’re gone. But, it’s definitely worthwhile putting things in place for when you die.
End of life preparation can give you the peace of mind that everything is taken care of when you die. Even though you’re not there anymore, other people have to keep living their lives without you.
Remember, that’s going to be difficult enough without the problems caused without a plan for your funeral and estate.
Do you want to read more articles like this one? Check out our blog post on managing your personal finances here.