Death is a fact of life, but few of us are eager to confront our own mortality. That’s understandable. Life is beautiful, and it’s natural to want to stick around. While some experts advise us not to fear death, that’s tough advice to act on — and even those of us who are not actively anxious about the end of our lives are not necessarily eager to spend time thinking about it and discussing it.
But you should spend at least a little time thinking about and preparing for your own death, especially as you build a family, grow older or face things that threaten your health and well-being. If you do a little difficult thinking and make some fairly basic preparations now, you can provide an incredible gift to your loved ones when you pass. Making preparations for your own death can ease stress significantly at an already stressful time. Grief and stress can be connected, and a grieving, stressed-out individual probably does not need any extra chores to do. Every preparation that you make now takes something off of the plate for your loved ones later on, at a time when they’ll need the help the most.
Here are a few things that you should consider now, so that your loved ones don’t have to consider them later.
Make a will
Perhaps the most important thing that you can do to prepare for your own passing is to make a will. Without a will, the transfer of your estate to your heirs can be a whole lot messier — and a whole lot costlier.
Fortunately, creating a will isn’t too tough. Just work with an attorney who specializes in wills and estates to get it done. It’s a good idea to create a new will or update your existing one at major turning points in your life, such as when you get married, when you have children, or when your financial situation changes significantly. Update your will from time to time in between these events, and work with an attorney to rewrite it when necessary.
Take out a life insurance policy
A life insurance policy isn’t strictly necessary, but it can be a big help to your family when you pass away. Paying into a life insurance policy now will ensure that, when you die, your loved ones will get help with things such as funeral expenses and other necessities.
The passing of a loved one is terrible on a personal level, of course, but it can also be financially stressful — especially if you are your family’s breadwinner (or half of a two-income household). A life insurance policy can counter those tough financial moments, easing stress and helping to improve your loved ones’ futures long after you are gone.
Make funeral arrangements ahead of time
The men and women of America’s death care industry are incredibly talented and sensitive. Amid a difficult time, they help a deceased person’s surviving loved ones make important decisions about funerals, wakes, memorial services, caskets, burials, and cremations. But no amount of sensitivity can make this process easy. It would be better if the work was done ahead of time — and you have the power to make that happen.
Funeral directors and other members of the death care industry will be happy to work with you to plan your own arrangements, explain the professionals at Heritage Cremation Provider. You can choose cremation or burial, pick out a casket, and set preferences and plans for your memorial service. You can even pay for most of these things ahead of time. All of this can make life a lot less stressful for your surviving loved ones, who will save on planning time and money — and will have more time to work through their grief and focus on themselves.
You can give your loved ones incredible gifts after your passing. You can give them financial security, low-stress memorial planning, simpler legal procedures, and more — and you can give them all of this after you’re gone, just by taking care of it now.
Updated: January 27, 2019