I talked to my mom over the weekend and were recalling conversations with loved ones who had passed. One of the things we remembered is how my dad wanted to ensure that we had a piece of mind if something happened to him in the future. Even the best planners can forget something when we deal with death. Dad kept meticulous records. It was a good thing because mom could get her hands on the necessary deeds, documents, and other pertinent information. When she had to change everything into different names, the process was much more straightforward than it could have been.
His actions made me ponder what I needed to do when I pass on. I love my family, but I don’t trust my cousins to do what I’d want in the future. That’s not a slam on them by any means. It’s just that what’s important to me is not essential to them. As I was researching this topic on the web, I found some information that helped me plan for the future. Since I don’t have children, I wanted to ensure that I could make the best provisions for the people I wanted to include in that transition. Here are some of the tips I found.
- Determine a Power of Attorney. Having a power of attorney is not only smart, but it can be beneficial for those who love and care about you. The people who love you and know you best won’t always have your best interest at heart, but some will. Use your instincts to determine who you think will handle affairs the closest that you would want. It’s not an easy decision. Communicate with those you are thinking of asking. You can always ask those you are considering without letting it become known what your plans may are but if you do let them know what you wish, make sure they are willing to act in that capacity.
- Prepare an Advance Directive – The Living Will. I worked in a hospital setting for years and didn’t understand why it was essential to have an advanced directive until I worked in healthcare. Having an advanced directive lets the healthcare facility know your wishes. If you are on life support, an advanced directive gives the healthcare a guide as to what to do.
- Set Aside Funding to Pay for Funeral Costs, and Be Specific About the Details. Unless you have plenty of money and don’t have to worry about expenses at all, you might want to consider paying for funeral expenses ahead of time. No one likes the thought of coughing up the coins for this, but it could make a lot of difference down the road. If you choose cremation, think about how your ashes will become handled. Are you going to be left to sit on a shelf somewhere, or are you going to be scattered where you wished? When you take the initiative to handle those expenses, you don’t have to worry about people discarding you however they see fit.
- Be Sure to Have a last will and Testament. I can’t stress this enough. Your last will is your way to tell others what you want and who gets what. In a way, you get to say to people that meant something to you that you will make others happy or get the last hoorah telling them where to stick it. Either way, this document is either going to make others extremely happy or downright pissed.
- Organize Finances, Life Insurance, Bills, and Debts. I’ve always heard that it’s essential to handle your business and not leave it for others to clean up. Sometimes it is easier said than done, but if you can get your bills, insurance, and debts squared away when you leave this earth, your loved ones won’t have as many stresses as they may have if you don’t do these actions.
The important thing is to remember that we all need a piece of mind. No one wants to deal with death. Hell, most of us can barely squeak by paycheck to paycheck. Planning and executing those plans into action is imperative when saving for the future. When you’re young, you don’t think about death usually. Most people who are young tend to believe they are invincible and take the world by storm. Enjoy youth while you can. Before you know it, life will fast forward, and then those that were young find themselves as parents, then entering into mid-life crises, and finally, life flies by, and they’re seniors. Time doesn’t wait. It’s the one constant we all contend with during our lives, and while laws and rules change, one thing remains the same. We all will pass on at some point. How we leave our affairs when we are gone will determine others’ future as well.
I hope none of you have to face a loss in your family or with yourself anytime soon, but if you do, I hope some of these tips help you have a little peace of mind. Have a great day, everyone.