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Death may be an unpleasant idea for some people but planning for the end of your life not only makes your loved ones aware of your wishes, but also takes a significant weight from their shoulders during what will be a very difficult time.
The beginning of the new year is the perfect time to create an end-of-life plan or re-evaluate your current one.
Give Yourself and Your Family Peace of Mind
Death is difficult to think about and even harder to discuss with those we love. However, it is necessary to take the time to make personal arrangements. It’s a good idea to take the following actions while you are still healthy and of sound mind.
Prepare your end-of-life planning documents. This is also known as Estate Planning because you are documenting your wishes regarding medical care and how your money, property, and valuables will be distributed upon your death. End-of-life planning documents include:
Decide between a Will and a Trust.
A Trust protects you, your loved ones, and your legacy once you are gone. Trusts are not just for the wealthy. Anyone who owns property or assets valued at or above $160k should consider a Trust to avoid the painful and lengthy probate process.
A Will is your written declaration about who should receive your assets upon your death. It also states who you have chosen to take responsibility for your minor children.
If you are not ready to set up a Trust, a Will is a good place to start. Wills and Trusts can be modified at any time and should be reviewed annually.
List your assets. Assets are the possessions you want passed down to your heirs. These items can include savings and checking accounts, cash, CDs, treasury bills, real estate and land, investments, stocks and bonds, pensions and retirement plans, life insurance policies, art and collectables, jewelry, and corporate assets if you own a business.
Determine end-of-life housing. Let your loved ones know where you prefer to live out your days in the event you are unable to fully care for yourself. In-home care is a choice you can consider, but if you would rather enter an assisted living facility or a nursing home, do your research to discover which ones have the best reputation as well as their layout and amenities. Once you have narrowed down your choices, document your decision in writing and make your family aware of the specific locations you have chosen for end-of-life housing.
Decide on funeral and burial arrangements. Determining this in advance is one of the kindest gifts you can give to your loved ones. When you die, they will be grieving, so making them aware of your final wishes beforehand will help the process be less painful and confusing for them.
Choices of funerals include:
Choices of burials include:
Create your obituary, eulogy, and death notice. There is nothing wrong with a person writing their own obituary, eulogy, and death notice because doing so provides the opportunity to speak from the heart while it is still beating. After all, telling people you love them from beyond the grave will help comfort the grief-stricken and encourage closure for those experiencing feelings of guilt for past transgressions. Adding a touch of humor to your personal tributes will lighten the mood and inspire everyone to remember happier times, which will ease their pain.
Remember to consider who will read your words aloud during the funeral or memorial service. Will it be a priest, attorney, or a sibling? If you have chosen a friend or relative, ask if they are comfortable with this responsibility before officially designating them for this role.
Create a Digital Legacy
Ever since the advent of social media, digital legacies have been gaining in popularity. This comes as no surprise because internet platforms have become depositories for the photos and videos of our most memorable experiences.
Having photographic collections online makes it easy to transfer them to software platforms such as EverArk, so cherished memories can be viewed for generations to come. People also enjoy adding their favorite music and art to digital legacies.
A digital legacy can even be created for a loved one who has already passed. Just find and upload your favorite photos and videos of them and add background music. Once you believe their digital legacy is complete, simply email the link to all the people who will enjoy viewing this special online memorial.
Preparing for Death Brings Quietude
Once you have your affairs in order, you will feel calm knowing that your final wishes will be honored. You will also experience peace of mind since you have articulated your thoughts and feelings. Now, you are free to enjoy the new year ahead and all the wonders life has to offer, including the promise of a peaceful rest.
Learn how to create a digital legacy by requesting a demo of EverArk today!
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