End of Life Plan: A Guide to Easing The Burden for Your Loved Ones

Death is a normal stage of everyone’s life but not an easy topic to discuss for most individuals. 

However, putting your end of life plan in place comes with several benefits. It eases the burden of setting your finances and materials in order and eliminates the guesswork in trying to build your legacy.

What is End of Life Planning?

End-of-life planning entails putting all your preferences and interests into a book so that when you breathe your last, your loved ones have a clear picture of what to do next. 

It may be a challenging process, but it relieves your loved ones of the burden of figuring out everything when they’re in grief. 

Losing kin often leaves the bereaved confused, angry, and broken. It’s not the best time to make perfect decisions, but they will have to think a way through their grief if you don’t lay the plans now. That’s why you need to plan your end of life, especially if you’re struggling with a terminal illness.

However, it isn’t limited to those facing a severe diagnosis exclusively. Anyone, regardless of age and health status, with preferences of what type of legacy to leave behind can consider putting the plan. Having an end-of-life planning will ensure that all your desires, interests, and choices are clear to your loved ones.

Why is End of Life Planning Important?

Putting an end-of-life plan will ensure that the world remembers you for what you desire and ease your family’s burden. Dealing with the insurance companies, figuring out financial assets, and active subscriptions can be unwanted surprises when your family and friends are struggling to come to terms with your demise or incapacitation.

Leaving a comprehensive end-of-life plan means you have established all the decisions. They only remain with implementation, which probably, won’t be too exhausting. 

Checklists for End-of-Life Planning

Planning for end-of-life is one of the best ways to extend your love and care to the people that matter to you. Here is a list of the items to include in your end of life planning.

Documents Check 

  • Last will
  • A living will and trust
  • Tissue/ Organ Donor designation
  • Health Care Proxy, Durable POA for Finances, Durable Medical POA, Healthcare POA, plus all other Power of Attorney (POA) documents
  • Domestic Partnership Agreement (where applicable)

Assets and Liabilities Checklist

  • Savings accounts and plans
  • Investment accounts
  • Online accounts
  • Pension and retirement benefits
  • Outstanding loans
  • Credit cards
  • Insurance policies
  • Real estate mortgages
  • Checking and bank accounts

List of contacts and their locations

  • Your close friends
  • Business contacts
  • Beneficiaries of your Annuity, Life Insurance, IRA, and other benefits
  • People in your will
  • Social and religious acquaintances

Funeral Preferences

You may also want to indicate what you would like to happen after you breathe your last. You can include information on issues like:

  • Cremation or burial
  • Whether you need a memorial or funeral service
  • Your preferred funeral home director
  • Where to place your remains
  • Preferences on pallbearers, viewing, obituary, eulogy, readings, music, and funeral home
  • Whether you want the family to donate to charities in your name
  • The kind of service you want
  • Military service

Dealing with grief is a painful process, and giving your loved ones peace of mind at such a time is the best gift you can offer to them. Planning your end-of-life is one of the best ways to ensure that they have little to worry about in your absence. 

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The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.