As we age, we start to come to terms with the fact that we don’t have eternal life. At least, not on this plane anyway… That doesn’t mean that once you turn thirty-five you need to prepare for impending death and darkness. All it does mean is that you should be prepared for your inevitable demise.
We don’t get to choose how or where we go, and we certainly don’t get to pick the date – but what we do get is ample opportunity to get our affairs in order before we cross over.
If you don’t have a plan in place for your family, or if you want to revamp your existing plan, here are five simple ways to do that:
- Check Your Plan
As dark as it may seem, we all need a death plan. That is the plan that triggers several things into action after we pass away. Your death plan should include key elements of information that your family will need to know once you are not there to give them advice.
Make sure your death plan is updated at least every two years, and if you have recently been diagnosed with a terminal illness – now is the best time to check that. That may seem and sound cold or callous, but if you think about it, you will realize that it is practical.
Before anything horrible happens, take out a decent life insurance policy or two. That is particularly vital if you are the breadwinner in your family. Those insurance policies will pay them a tidy lump sum when you die, and the idea behind them is to keep your family comfortable even when you are no longer around to pay the bills.
Once you have policies in play, check the listed beneficiaries regularly to ensure that you have everyone sufficiently covered.
- Living Trust
A living trust is designed to ensure that the process of transferring your assets after death is as smooth as possible. It will also bypass the complex and hefty fees that come with the legal probate process.
A living trust agreement will mean that you will need to designate a trustee, that person will hold all legal possession of your assets and property that come into the trust. Make sure that you appoint someone that you trust to look after your family when you are no longer around.
- Pin Codes and Passwords
Part of your death plan should include all of your pin codes and passwords. That way closing accounts and cancelling digital subscriptions won’t end up being a long and drawn-out process. Keep a small piece of paper in your filing cabinet with all of these details on it.
The important part here is to make sure that it is kept updated as your codes change. These codes should include ATM pins and social media passwords, as well as email and any other accounts that you currently have.
Once you have made sure that your family will be financially comfortable after you die, you now need to take care of their emotional needs as best as you can.
Make videos for each of your loved ones and leave notes and letters behind. Make arrangements for your spouse and children to receive gifts on their birthdays for the next 50 years, that is such a thoughtful thing to do and it can all come out of your estate planning procedures.
Your death needs to be a tidy one – when you think about it, you’ll get it.