Have You Been Preparing for Your own Death?

Have You Been Preparing for Your own Death?


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It may seem counter-intuitive to talk about our own demise when our overreaching focus is to find ways to stay alive as for long as possible.  However, the reality is that all of us will one day cease to exist in our current state.  It is very important to spend some serious time considering what will happen to your interests and those you love once you pass away.   Taking some very simple steps will help to ensure that those you leave behind will be in good hands.


Express Your Interests in Writing
Laws regarding wills and estates vary from state to state.  However, your intentions must be communicated in writing in one form or another in most situations.  Take the time to write down who gets what and when, in addition to expressing your wishes with respect to your ceremonial exit from the world of the living.

It is important that you are as specific as possible in order to reduce the chances of jilted family members or opportunistic lawyers from interpreting what you express to their advantage.  Be clear, be concise and don’t leave a lot of room for confusion.

Make sure that you make regular updates as necessary to address any changes in your life after the first document has been drawn up.  Finally, make sure that it is signed and dated by a witness (or two, depending on your location), and have it officially notarized.

Prepare Your Loved Ones
Talk about your death, what you hoped to accomplish in life and what you want others to continue to do once you are gone.  This is particularly important in the context of survival preparation.  You want to make sure that those you leave behind will be equipped and capable of moving forward once your influence is no longer part of the equation.

Start planting seeds now, and train those who will follow in your footsteps to take the helm.  This is important to maximize their chances of being successful as they live on during uncertain times.  The more “passing of the torch” you do now will pay big benefits later.


Get Power of Attorney and Life Insurance
Funerals are expensive, and your estate will also be liable for any debts that you have remaining.  Try to get your financial affairs in order in order simplify the process of settling your estate.  A small life insurance policy can not only help to pay for the cost of your final medical and funeral expenses, but it can also provide your loved ones with some extra much-needed money as well.

Everyone should get power of attorney while they are healthy so that there won’t be any confusion with respect to what you want to happen if you become incapacitated.  Do you want extreme measures to prolong your life, or do you want the doctor to pull the plug?  Who will speak on your behalf if you can’t speak for yourself when it comes to your healthcare?  Find someone, and ask them to have power of attorney over your medical affairs.  You can also appoint someone to be power of attorney over your finances as well.

Remember, all of us need to plan for our death in order to minimize the difficulties that our loved ones can experience while they are grieving our loss.  Make life simpler for them, give them a framework in which to move forward, and have someone speak on your behalf when you can’t speak for yourself.  These are all simple, yet often overlooked, things that everyone should settle sooner rather than later.  Take time to organize your affairs now so that you can get back to focusing on staying alive.

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