Nobody likes to talk about it but the truth is we are all going to die someday. To help you get ready, here are some preparing for death tips.
We spend a lot of time considering what needs to be done today and what happens tomorrow. We spend a lot less time considering what happens when the tomorrows stop happening.
Some psychologists go on and on about our fear of the inevitable quality of death. It is far more charitable to say we don’t think about endings from the middle. You watch enough movies and realize you’ve reached the end and you get a sense that people don’t consider endings.
When it comes to preparing for death, we often don’t have the time, rather than don’t have the wherewithal. Andrew Carnegie considered the end of life to be a loss if you ended it rich.
Take a moment and go through this guide to get a foothold today in what others will be dealing with on your behalf tomorrow.
Three major areas need to be considered when planning for death.
The first is to take an inventory of what you have now. Next, you need to organize your responsibilities into discernable chunks. Finally, you want to go over the personal touches that connect you to yourself and those around you.
Before considering what you want to do with all your things, you need to know what you have. An inventory can be as deep or shallow as you choose. The important aspect of this step is personal awareness.
For both of these subcategories, you will want to count tangible and intangible items.
If you have a good source of money and planning advice, the hope is you will have more in the first group.
Start with the tangible items. A general rule of thumb is to count items worth over $100. However, some individual items should be grouped. Books rarely value more than $100 by themselves but a collection may well be worth thousands.
Don’t worry about organizing the information at this stage in your death planning checklist. You want to understand the value and the totality of what you have. Sorting it for purposes comes later.
Next, work your way through your intangible assets. This will include the value which exists in a future time. Examples of this include life insurance policies, retirement plans, pensions, and bank accounts.
While you want to establish a baseline for what these assets total now, you also want a modest projection of where they will be in the future.
Don’t get carried away with what you own and how much future money is collecting in accounts and policies, think about what you owe.
Credit cards and loans come first in this calculation. After that, consider funds that haven’t matured as a debt until they conclude. This prevents you from attempting to count money that doesn’t exist.
Now that you know what you do and don’t have, you can consider what to do with it. Organizing these assets into general categories of documents, accounts, and lists.
Documents contain binding information and discrete evidence of your tangible and intangible assets. Collecting and itemizing your documents lets you know what already has a paper trail and what doesn’t.
You also want to build new documents in this step. Generate a copy of your assets and have it notarized or filed. This locks those items into the record.
You will deal with a will and testament in this step as well. Consider working with a living trust attorney to keep all your documents legal and current.
Finally, make certain that documents pertaining to future assets are in order. You don’t want to miss inconvenient loopholes that leave assets uncertain.
In addition to the will, TOD (transfer on death) designations move assets seamlessly into the care of other entities. Many of your accounts, both personal and financial should have a TOD plan.
In our current day, leaving specific instructions on what to do with digital and social accounts has become important.
There may not be a monetary value associated with a Facebook account but it has value. Leaving it unattended to be auto-deleted can feel like losing a person all over again.
Throughout life, we tend to gain influence and responsibilities outside of our strictly work and family lives. Compile a list of your memberships and connections to organizations. This gives you the ability to plan for your absence within those groups.
Charities you donate to or organizations you volunteer for will be left in the lurch if you have commitments. Your death plan doesn’t need to take care of these indefinitely but it should lay out what you would like to see done with the equity you have established.
Preparing for death and dying isn’t just a bunch of numbers and things being passed on. You have a personal stake in what happens to you. Ideally, you also want a say on how your absence will be considered.
For some, the idea of planning their own funeral comes across as either selfish or morbid. Making your intentions in regard to your passing shouldn’t be viewed as selfish. It is just one more thing you would do if you could.
Many people consider final words they want to be shared. Updating these from time to time shows your concern for others. It also makes a great way to reflect on the value of your relationships in the present.
The time after a death hits hard and passes quickly. You need to have a plan in place for how things get delegated. Wills and estates establish executors to handle all of the paperwork and divisions.
Despite the sometimes formal and legal nature of estate and death planning, injecting your personality into the mix helps. Don’t let you fade from your end. Remind people you existed with details.
Remember, it is about how to prepare to die, not if. Preparing for death isn’t mandatory but it falls into the inevitable category. No planning is, after all, a sort of planning.
To delay the death part for as long as possible, you want to always be aware of the best health information you can find.