Life Insurance Planning
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Planning for the Inevitable Can Ease Burdens on Loved Ones
Our own passing is something we might try to avoid thinking about. However, by making plans for our funerals we can save the decision-making obligation family members and friends would endure during an emotional time. Not only is it an opportunity to make your wishes known, you can ease their financial burden and avoid undesirable expenses for your loved ones.
Weighing options. Many of us think rather off-the-cuff when it comes to our final arrangements. We might have vague notions about wanting to pass peacefully in our sleep, or about not wanting to linger on life support. Contemplating our funerals might be something you think can be left for survivors, or that things will just fall into place, but as Forbes points out that leaves a heavy burden to our loved ones during an already trying period.
There is actually a substantial amount of ground to cover and documents you’ll need to arrange, which can greatly impact those you leave behind. And by pre-planning your arrangements you can provide an opportunity for your loved ones to focus on their grief and healing. As the Federal Trade Commission notes, planning your funeral allows you to make informed decisions, shopping around for the best and most appropriate arrangements for you.
Life insurance. In addition to covering debts such as medical bills, personal loans, and even estate taxes for your heirs, life insurance can eliminate financial hardship for those you leave behind when it comes to funeral planning. When deciding how much coverage you’ll need, it’s important to consider what sort of final arrangements are desirable. There are several factors that could weigh into your policy choice, so be sure to talk to an insurance agent to help you determine the right amount of coverage.
Burial versus cremation. Precisely what happens to your remains is a highly personal decision, and a number of factors can play a role in your choice. Religious beliefs can weigh particularly heavily on deciding between burial or cremation, since some faiths are strict in guiding what can and cannot be done with your physical body once life here is over. There are also other personal and financial considerations, as family members and friends may appreciate having a site to visit, an urn to look after, or ashes to scatter in a special ceremony. Think about what kind of memorial service you prefer, such as a viewing and funeral, or a less formal memorial ceremony. Your funeral service is not limited by either a burial or cremation, so decide what is right for your situation. You might want to use a checklist to help with your decisions.
Difficult discussions. Discussing end-of-life arrangements is difficult under the best of circumstances. However, if tragedy should strike unexpectedly, establishing guidelines can be a rudder to loved ones in an otherwise turbulent time. Before opening the conversation, consider making some notes to help you frame your wishes. If you decide that an open discussion is too difficult or not appropriate in your situation, a final wishes document is another option. Different from a last will and testament, a final wishes document is a declaration of your desires. It’s not legally binding, but it does offer guidelines to your loved ones.
Planning your funeral arrangements is difficult, but it’s a kindness to those you love. Think about what is best in your situation. By making arrangements now, you can ease the burdens on your loved ones later.