By Roz Jones
Thinking about end-of-life matters generally brings to mind thoughts about funerals and final resting places. That’s certainly part of the equation but outside of sudden death, there’s probably going to be more to face before you die. Preparing for your end-of-life needs happens long before you are sick or have an accident.
In the same way that you value having medical insurance and retirement plans, you should also value things like:
✔A will or trust
✔An advance directive
✔A designated medical decision-maker
✔Additional income sources outside of retirement
✔Successor guardians for dependents
These are simply a few of the important safeguards that should be in place to protect you and your loved ones if something happens to you and you can’t care for them.
Protecting yourself legally, financially, and medically is an important step towards making sure things are in order and you benefit from your pre-planning. How?
- By avoiding burdening your family with making difficult decisions for you
- By preventing your estate from going into probate
- By securing care and comfort for an illness, accident, or hospice
- By ensuring your children or dependents are protected and provided for if you die
- By providing income to your family for their wellbeing
- By making sure someone you trust manages your health care if you are injured or sick
This is not an exhaustive list of benefits that planning provides but it does give a healthy snapshot of how many things you can protect and provide by taking time to do some planning.
You don’t have to make these decisions alone
While these are personal and important decisions that you must ultimately make, you don’t have to make them alone. There are professionals whose job it is to help you make and solidify your decisions as well as legally bind them so you are sure to be protected if/when you need them.
Here’s an idea of who can help:
Generally, you can make a lot of decisions on your own but you may want some advice from a professional before making a final decision.
Will and probate attorneys
Primary care physician
Funeral/Burial planning professionals
These providers can help you sort through the choices available to you for your legal, financial, and medical needs. From preparing for retirement and earning and saving money to cover care and end-of-life expenses to making sure your wishes are carried out and your estate and your healthcare are managed in the way you desire. Each of these issues can be managed and coordinated with the help of a professional.