When a loved one passed away, it rarely happens at a time that we expect. Even if you know that someone is seriously ill, there is no scheduled time for their passing, which can make the event complicated in many different ways:
- Who will handle the details after you or someone that you love has passed away?
- What will your funeral arrangements be?
- Is there a will or estate involved?
- How will the life insurance be handled? Who will make the necessary contacts, communications, and notifications?
It’s a certain fact that everyone will die; far from something to be feared, it should be anticipated and planned for. No one wants to concentrate too intently on their final moments, but we shouldn’t shy away from the fact that one day, arrangements will need to be made so that our loved ones won’t be burdened. Pre-planning will often mean arranging these details well ahead of time. Whether an individual is facing a serious medical condition that could result in death, or they’re suddenly involved in a fatal accident, it’s important to have the details laid out well in advance to clear up any confusion or financial burdens which could occur after an event has taken place. In this article, we’ll discuss what pre-planning means for you.
When Should I Plan Ahead?
The time to start considering pre-planning is now; most people will wait until they are in their 60s or early 70s to begin considering what they will want to do after they have passed away, but you shouldn’t take the average life expectancy rate as a guarantee that nothing will happen beforehand. If you have a family and other dependents, or if you know that there are people who will need to handle your funeral arrangements, then you will want to consider pre-planning at nearly any age. Consider pre-planning to be along the same lines as saving for retirement; the earlier you start, the better the results will be. While retirement planning will mainly focus on your own benefit, pre-planning your funeral arrangements instead has benefits for those around you. Taking the time now to arrange for costs, information on how you would want to be buried, and coordinating your life insurance helps to relieve some of the stress that families and friends can go through after a passing. You can also ensure that matters after your death will be handled in the way that you prefer, giving you control and freedom in death that you valued in life.
What are the Steps of Pre-Planning?
Make sure that you have a solid life insurance policy. It’s far too common for individuals to either not have life insurance, or to lapse in payment, thus negating any benefits that surviving family members would otherwise receive. Make sure that you have the right policy for both the premium that you’re paying, so that payments won’t be an issue, and for the benefits that you’ll be leaving to the people who may need it most. Discuss funeral preferences with family. For families that belong to more traditional religious practices, funeral arrangements can often be easier to plan in advance, but if you have particular requests, then it is important to make them known well ahead of time, both in speaking and in writing. You can also speak with an estate lawyer to have any funeral requests included as part of a last will and testament. Consider pre-payment plans and options. The single best way to alleviate the costs of a funeral is to begin making payments as soon as you feel ready to do so. Even small monthly amounts can go toward either a preferred funeral home payment plan, or a secure savings account specifically created for funeral and emergency situations. With proper banking options, your account can even begin early in life and gain interest over time, giving higher value to the final amount than what was initially invested. Make sure your will is in order. This can be a very important step for individuals that have considerable assets, but it’s just as important for those that may only have a home and some financial savings to distribute. Having a properly written and filed will can mean giving the right people the right money, as well as avoiding the possibility of a legal battle over your estate, which could be even more of a financial burden at a time when loved ones are already feeling stressed.
Pre-Planning Doesn’t Need to Be Complicated
Looking at the various steps of pre-planning, it’s actually quite easy to see how you can benefit from having the right plans in place for your own passing. These steps don’t all need to be taken at the same time, and in fact, it may be recommended that you take care of them over a period of time so that you’re fully aware of your options. Be aware that certain steps, such as savings and pre-payment, typically benefit from being seen to as soon as possible so that you can ensure lower rates and greater returns. It’s no coincidence that there are more people pre-arranging their funerals than have in the past, and with the ease of digital record keeping and communications, it’s also become more practical to do so. There are smaller families, higher costs, and other considerations that lead to pre-planning being the smart choice, regardless of your income level or current amount of assets. If you’re concerned with how your family will go on after you have passed away, then now is the best time to speak with a funeral pre-planning consultant about how you can get started on making your arrangements. Whether you’re 25, or 85, it’s never too early, or too late, to make sure that you have everything well handled in the event of your death. Be sure to explore your options carefully, and to make your plans with all of the information that you need for a wise decision.