How do you help your loved one create an end-of-life plan? After all, there is no escaping it; death is the most inevitable event in our lives. Surprisingly, 60% of Americans have made no legal provision about what happens to their belongings and assets when the day comes. When no advanced planning has been done, close relatives are forced to make difficult medical decisions or even find themselves arguing over their inheritance.
When someone discusses an end-of-life plan with a loved one, it can be a painful experience requiring real sensitivity. The results of such discussions can be incredibly helpful, however. They can remove much of the stress when the day finally comes. The person’s intentions will be fully known and can be fulfilled much more easily. We will now show you how to create an end-of-life plan with someone you love.
DISCUSS THE FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS
It’s important to ask the person whether they wish to be buried or cremated. Some folk even create an Order of Service for the funeral that includes who they want to sing or take a Bible reading.
It’s also possible for people to pay for funeral plans that cover all the expenses in advance. There are also websites that let people choose the type of cremation urn they want. People choose from such elements as wood or metal, and even upload the wording for the engraving online.
FINALIZE THE ESTATE PLANNING
When a will is drawn up and completed, the Executor and Beneficiaries can be clearly identified. Legal clarity can also be given as what is given, such as heirlooms and keepsakes. Great discretion is urged here. It’s advisable to not tell too many people who will benefit from the deceased’s estate. There is no point in opening the door to family conflict at this stage.
While such things can be done without legal assistance, estate planning attorneys can be beneficial for more complex will creation. They can advise on such things as wealth distribution and multi-generational planning and whether part of the estate is to be put under a trust or to be given to charity. It may be that there are minors who will need legal guardians when the parent passes away, and this can also be incorporated into the will.
Lawyers are also skilled in helping people minimize or avoid state taxes in the event of a person’s death. This will help maximize the financial value of the deceased person’s estate. While a lawyer’s help will come at a cost, it may more than pay for itself in the long run.
CREATE A LIVING WILL
This is legally known as an Advanced Healthcare Directive. It comes into play when a person is no longer able to care for themself. The person can express their personal wishes so that they are complied with by medical professionals.
A living will cover such things as whether to implement life-saving measures. Basically, this means whether the patient wants feeding tubes, artificial hydration, or CPR. It can also refer to the process of artificial respiration and ventilation. The legal document could also include the patient’s wishes for organ donation.
When a will is drawn up, there is no doubt as to who gets what. When a living will have been created, families do not have to decide whether their loved one’s life is extended or not.
POWERS OF ATTORNEY, SOCIAL MEDIA AND DOCUMENT SAFETY
It may be that not all medical decisions are covered by the Advanced Healthcare Directive. If someone has been given Power of Attorney in advance, they will have the legal power to decide.
There is nothing more upsetting than receiving Facebook notifications that it’s a deceased person’s birthday. If the loved one has a presence on social media, it will be worth keeping their password details with the other documents. The person’s profile can then be removed.
When all the documents have been drafted, completed, and signed, they must be kept somewhere safe for future reference. It is a sad reality that thieves, on occasion, steal legal documents from vulnerable people. They then use them for anything from gaining prescription drugs to medical fraud and identity theft.
It’s worth taking all the prescribed actions well in advance in order to help your loved ones create an end-of-life plan. This can happen when a person is told they are going to die soon or before they lose their mental capacity. No doubt, the time of loss will be heartbreaking, but the prior organization will help soften the blow.