No one likes to think about illness, old age, and death. But the reality is that we all have to prepare for these things in some way or another. What are your plans for when you get sick? How will you prepare for when you no longer can work? And what do you want to be done with your body after death?
These are important questions that everyone needs to ask themselves before it’s too late. We’ll discuss how to prepare for each of these three events so that your loved ones don’t have to worry about it later on.
Put Your Financial Affairs in Order
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Make a will and ensure that your assets are properly distributed and get life insurance to cover any beneficiaries1 who would be left without the financial support of their loved ones.
Prepare for Illness
- Find out what kind of medical or supportive care you want in case something happens, such as do not resuscitate order in a home care nurse
- Make sure that you have the proper supplies on hand.
- Create a medical kit to prepare for any emergencies.
Did you know?
A Do Not Resuscitate Order will cause emergency medical personnel to withhold CPR or other life-saving procedures, such as chest compression and artificial ventilation if you suffer from cardiac arrest.
Prepare for Old Age
- Start planning now, it becomes increasingly difficult as time goes by.
- Consider retirement living options and apply now if possible so you can get priority to acknowledge that you will need to make adjustments in your lifestyle.
- Be aware of the costs associated with aging, for example, nursing care, dental care, and saving up for a housekeeper or lawn service.
Prepare for Death
- Prepare your family by documenting what you would like done with your remains and where they should be buried, cremated, or scattered.
- Share your wishes with those closest to you.
- Make a will and discuss it with an attorney.
Handing Over Control of Your Finances
You can get help from your family, a friend, or your trusted advisor in case you become too ill to manage your finances.
Create an account for them and have them take control of the money as soon as possible so they will be able to use it, rather than having it sit in some savings that don’t earn interest.
This also helps prepare for old age when there may not be anyone considers moving the assets into a trust so your family will still be able to use them, but they won’t have access to all of it.
If you become too ill to make decisions, a power of attorney can be assigned to help. The person with the legal authority could have access to your accounts and buy things for you or manage your investments.
On the other hand,
A durable power of attorney is more powerful in that it lasts until someone else has been nominated and approved by the court which can take a long time. Durable means that it can’t be canceled unless there is an abuse of power, or if the person with legal authority has been found legally incompetent in court. A durable power of attorney will need to specify who they are giving those powers to and when it should end before any assets have been transferred out.
Lasting power of attorney is a less powerful form of power. This is because it can be cancelled by either party at any time, and without notice or justification to the other person involved.
What Happens to Your Money When You Die?
When a person dies, their money is transferred to the next of kin. If they don’t have any relatives or friends living then it will be given back to the government in most cases (unless there was an agreement set up beforehand). It’s important that you write down who gets what before your death so that everything goes smoothly when you pass away.
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Make a Will
A will is a document whereby the person sets out how their estate should be distributed to other people and who becomes responsible for what. It also contains details on where any possessions are being held as well as contact information, such as that of the executor of the will and solicitor. A will allows you to control your own destiny after death by stating who will care for your children and other dependents.
How to Write a Will
- Grant, name or not the executor of the estate with power to act on behalf of next kin where appropriate
- Specify who should be entitled to the property in inheritance (e.g., spouse, children)
- Nominate a guardian for children
- Leave instructions for funeral wishes, burial, or cremation requests.
If you have a will it is important that you keep your solicitor informed if anything changes in the meantime as they are responsible to ensure all legal requirements are met.
It might feel like all this talk about death and illness should be reserved until later on when we are old and have grown children, but it is important to plan for the inevitable.
Prepare for Long-Term Care and Funeral Expenses
Planning for your family and loved ones is an important step to ensure that they will be cared for when you can’t care for them.
Ask your family member or friend to take care of funeral arrangements.
Plan for medical expenses and long-term care needs by identifying who will be responsible for you in the event that something happens.
Request a living will so as not to stay alive if there is no chance of recovery, enduring power of attorney, and prepare an advance directive by completing your own will.
Ensure that you are covered for funeral expenses and long term care costs with insurance. Make sure to include a clause in the will or living trust designating how these funds should be distributed among heirs, as well as including detailed instructions on when this money can be accessed.
Ask friends or family members who are in good health to prepare a healthcare proxy.
Create a living trust or last will so that final arrangements have already been made, as well as a memorialization4 of the person’s life.
Complete a living will or power of attorney to appoint an agent to make medical decisions on your behalf in case you are incapacitated.
Make sure that all legal documents are up to date and available should you need them quickly.
Why Do You Prepare for the End of Life?
With the right legal protections in place, you can be sure that your wishes are known. Death is a part of life so prepare for it now to lessen the stress on those who will need to handle things after you’re gone.
Preparing an advance care directive not only ensures that medical decisions have been made but also only ensures that your wishes are known, it also helps prepare you and family members for the possibility of future illness.
Why Do I Need a Living Will?
A living will let you specify what medical treatments or life-sustaining procedures should be taken in case of serious injury or severe illness so there’s no debate about whether to turn off life-support.
A living will take effect only when you’re unable to make decisions about your own medical care or treatment, so a durable power of attorney for healthcare is also necessary if you want someone else to be able to handle those decisions and apply the wishes in your living will.
How Can I Protect My Money as I Get Older?
Protect your money from inflation with an annuity. You can also invest in long-term insurance. You can purchase a fixed or variable annuity, which will guarantee income for you in future years.
What Happens to Your Money When You Die?
Your money will be distributed according to your living trust or estates. With a Living Trust, you can name someone who will take care of the distribution for you on top of the planning that’s already in place.
If you’re preparing for illness, old age, and death, make sure to take the time now to prepare. Whether it’s through planning your medical decisions or appointing an agent in case of incapacity, these steps will help ensure that all bases are covered when the worst happens.
Preparing now will help ensure that you have the necessary legal documents in place should you need them.
Complete your living will and power of attorney so final arrangements are made before it’s too late.