Dying is as natural as breathing and living, yet not everyone plans ahead in case it happens. The preparation is not only for you. It is, most of all, for your loved ones who have to deal with the profound loss and grief. Wouldn’t it be nice if you can still take care of them even after you’re gone?
To make sure you get to do that, don’t forget to take the following steps:
1. Prepare Your Funeral
A 2017 consumer survey by the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) showed disconnect between expectations and reality.
About 62% believed it’s necessary they can make and communicate their funeral plans with their loved ones. Less than 23%, however, can do so.
The survey further shared some of the reasons this happens. One of these is they don’t consider funeral planning a priority. It could be they don’t understand its importance, or they find it too costly.
Many studies and personal experiences highlight the benefits outweigh the risks. Funeral arrangements in Salt Lake City, for example, can help ease the actual costs of dying, which can already reach over $6,000. This is because you can already choose a reasonably priced package.
2. Plan Your Estate
You probably see it in soap operas: siblings squabbling over the parents’ inheritance or a spouse planning the murder of the other for the vast estate. These hit close to home more than you care to admit.
People fight over money and estate for a variety of reasons. A Forbes article once said humans live in a culture obsessed with money. For many, wealth can stand for many years of bliss or instant power and stature. Whatever the reason, it is ugly and can run for years, even across generations.
You can avoid that if you already have your affairs in order before you breathe your last. Make a will and ensure you can update it as often as you can, especially if there are significant events in your life. It can be the birth of a favorite grandchild or the death of your spouse.
Estate tax can also be a financial burden for your loved ones, so include tax planning as well. Learn more about the lifetime exemption and the annual limits for the gift and estate taxes, as well as generation-skipping taxes.
3. Arrange Your Mortgage Payments
Here’s the truth about mortgage: there’s a good chance it will outlive you. An American Financing survey revealed over 40% of Americans from 60 to 70 years old still have to pay off their home loan even after they retire. Worse, more than 15% of them believed they’d never get to pay it.
Mortgage, sadly, doesn’t die with you. If a spouse survives you and you applied for the loan together, they need to continue paying for it. If you have a co-signer, then the responsibility passes on to them regardless of whether they live in the property or not.
The good news is there are many options to get rid of the mortgage or at least make paying it much easier once you die. One, you can get a life insurance policy equal to or higher than the total value of your estate. You can also increase the home’s equity.
It’s indeed possible to love your family even when you’re no longer around. You can start with these three things.