Practical And Financial Considerations In End Of Life Care
Putting your affairs into order is a key task as you near the end of your life. Whether you’ve been diagnosed with a serious medical condition or whether you’re getting older, it’s important to plan for what you want to happen as you get closer to death.
Although end of life planning is difficult, I can be rewarding too. Death is something that we can’t control, however taking responsibility for your own choices helps to give you more control over the situation. It also helps to reduce the burden which friends and family can experience while giving you the satisfaction of knowing that everything will be settled as you most want it to be.
Putting Your Paperwork In Order
Getting your paperwork in order and into a single location makes things easier if family members need to help you out with any legal or financial matters, Some of the key documents to get together include:
- Birth certificate
- Marriage certificate
- Divorce papers
- Citizenship certificate
- Credit card details
- Bank information
- Investment information
- Insurance details
- Loan information
- House title or lease
- Funeral plan documentation
- Living will
This is also the right time to check on your beneficiaries in your policies, trusts and plans and make updates as necessary.
Dealing With Your Finances
There are a number of considerations to keep in mind when it comes to settling your finances at the end of your life. These include:
- Do you have a nominated person to make your financial or legal decisions if you’re unable to?
- Have you told a trustworthy person the location of your paperwork?
- Is your will valid and up to date?
- Have you updated the beneficiary information on your insurance policies and trusts?
If the answer to any of these questions is no, it’s important to remedy this immediately.
Although many of your considerations at this time are financial, there are personal practicalities to settle too. Have you thought of writing a letter for your loved ones to read after you’re gone? Have you any unresolved issues that you need to have sorted before you die? Have you given your loved ones the passwords and login data for your online accounts?
Medical Treatment Considerations
If you’ve been diagnosed with a serious condition, there are some practical considerations to bear in mind relating to your medical care. Are there any treatments which you definitely don’t want? Does your family know your wishes with regard to resuscitation or invasive treatments? Have you appointed someone to make the decisions about how you’re cared for if you’re no longer able to decide for yourself? Documenting your medical wishes in accordance with the rules in your state will ensure that they are carried out.
If you have a particular religion or of there are cultural practices which you need to be carried out when you die, you need to make sure you’ve made the necessary arrangements. You may want to have a religious or spiritual adviser such as a priest, minister, imam or rabbi with you in your final hours. Sharing your wishes for your funeral and memorial service will also ensure that your wishes are respected.
Getting Professional Advice
If you haven’t yet drawn up your will, it’s time to get some professional legal advice so that everything can be documented and legalised. This will avoid any disagreements or challenges when you’re no longer around. An attorney will be able to ensure that you don’t make any legal errors which could give rise to later problems and that everything is above board.
Arranging A Pre-Paid Plan
If you want to be certain that your wishes with respect to your funeral or memorial are properly carried out after your death, a pre-paid funeral plan is the best way to go. You can take out a plan and make payment for the funeral of your choice, including everything that you want and need to be included so that your loved ones have one less thing to deal with after your passing.
Although there are many practical and financial considerations when it comes to end of life care, it is important to take the time to make those difficult choices in advance so families are freed from the burden.