Every people have a light-hearted, bucket list of the things they want to do before they die.
But there are certain preparations that should be made for one’s own death, even though it seems to be in the distant future.
Putting things in place will help lessen the burden on those left behind at such a sad time.
The first thing that should be handled is finances. After your death, taxes must still be paid on your assets and your bills and expenses must be paid.
Take the time to understand your financial status and ensure that it is secure. There should be no surprises for the family you leave behind, such as large debts and unpaid taxes.
Hire an accountant to structure your finances and create a budget if you haven’t started already, so you can become more financially responsible, even after you’re gone.
2. Medical issues:
Create a plan with a medical provider that outlines your wishes when in a terminal or life-threatening medical situation.
These conditions will apply when you are unable to make medical decisions on your own and set out what you want to be done under these circumstances.
For example, a “do not resuscitate” order can be put in place so a medical team cannot legally do cardiopulmonary resuscitation if you stop breathing or restart your heart if it stops.
Many people prefer to do this rather than living with ill health and possible disabilities if their condition is critical.
Stating clearly now what should be done in these instances gives you power over a point in life when you are unable to communicate your specific wishes.
Any and all medical requests should be documented in case of an accident or illness that takes away the ability to choose for yourself.
If you have children or are the guardian of minors, arrangements must be put in place to take care of them after your death.
If you are a single parent or the spouse of someone who is not able to care for your children, you can appoint a friend or family member to take over guardianship of the children and wards after your death.
This area is sometimes overlooked in planning for the future, which can leave the children in limbo or risk being passed around between family members until the right fit is found.
Discuss it with the family to decide who will look after the children if you are no longer there. Make an official request in a will or during the establishment of the estate that they are put in charge of the children’s care.
Regularly update the contact information on any accounts, including banks, retirement, insurance and investments.
It is also a good idea to hire someone to list and total up your assets so the total value of the estate is known. Online asset management software is available if you prefer to do this yourself.
Once the total value of your assets has been determined, make a will to direct how they are to be divided. If you do not wish to make a will, you should designate someone to take charge of the assets and carry out your wishes.