Preparing For Death: What You Need to Do Before It’s Too Late

Talking about death can be a touchy subject for lots of people, and understandably so. Whether the conversation is about your life coming to an end or a loved one’s life coming to an end, the thought of either can be a hard pill to swallow but when it comes to your end of life plans, wouldn’t you rather be proactive about it than to leave your family scrambling around trying to figure out what to do?

Most people opt to go ahead and take care of their end of life arrangements early on before it’s too late to do it. Do you know why people make the decision to set up these arrangements long before they get old? Because life is so unpredictable. One minute you’re here and the next minute, you’re gone. The idea of death can be scary but the idea of dying with no proper arrangements in place can be even scarier. So don’t put yourself or your family in a bad position that could have been prevented with proper planning.

As you go about living your happy lives, don’t forget to stop and make these end of life decisions and changes before it’s too late.

Create a Power of Attorney (POA)

When people hear the words “power of attorney,” they think it’s a person, but it actually isn’t. A power of attorney is a legal document that appoints a person of your choice (typically called an agent) to make decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated or upon death. This person will be able to pay bills for you, assist you with major purchases, and pretty much be your voice when you are mentally incapable of making decisions on your own.

Now, upon appointing your POA agent, they can’t start making decisions for you until you have been medically diagnosed as being unable to make decisions on your own. It’s not until then that your agent will assume their role. Also, in selecting your agent, you want to make sure that you choose someone that genuinely loves and cares about you and wouldn’t take advantage of you and your assets. 

Trust plays a big role in this but luckily, POA’s are designed for you to be very specific in what your agent can and cannot do. Setting those limits and guidelines will give you peace in knowing that even when you can’t help yourself, you have a POA in place that will protect you… You would think that this particular process would be a difficult one but it’s not. You can get a free template now and start planning today.

Plan Your Own Funeral

Some people might think this is a bit extreme but it’s really not. It’s a simple process to plan your own funeral, plus, it will help alleviate a lot of stress on family members during such a difficult time. People are obviously going to be grieving losing you and the last thing you want to do is make things harder on them with funeral arrangements. Many people can cover the costs of funerals by purchasing a burial insurance policy.  These policies are designed to address a person’s final expenses.

Your family is obviously going to have to do the work to make your funeral arrangement come into play but they won’t have to worry about any of the planning because you will have already done it. That’s the greatest part about planning your funeral. You are in complete control of how everything will go. From the songs you want sung and the flowers you want, down to the outfit you’ll be wearing and who will do your makeup, your family won’t have to lift a finger.

Draft Your Living Will and Testament

Your will is ultimately the blueprint of how you want things to go upon your death. It outlines everything from making the decision to not accept feeding tubes or oxygen or if you want to be given every fighting option to keep you alive. This is a document that’s hard for people to face. People think that once you fill it out, you won’t have to ever see it again but the hard truth is that your living will and testament is kind of like your resume… it needs to be updated on occasion.

As you live and life-changing events happen, like marriage or the birth of a child, you’re going to need to update your will when those things happen. The same thing applies to your POA. You might have someone listed as your POA but then they pass away or you find that you can no longer trust them, you’re going to have to make some changes to that document.

Discuss Your Plans With Your Family

Again, this is going to be a tough conversation to have with certain loved ones but it’s best to have these conversations with them early so that they can somewhat be prepared, even if it’s years before you plan on leaving this Earth. By having this conversation with your loved ones, that means that you understand that everyone has different ways of coping with death but talking about it is one of the best ways to help cope and grieve about death, according to the American Psychological Association.

Just because you’re planning ahead in the event of your passing, that doesn’t mean that you’re planning on dying anytime soon… it just means that you are being proactive with the inevitable. By letting your loved ones know that, lets them know that you are just thinking ahead. But having these conversations with loved ones is important to slowly help them accept it, and not only for you but for themselves to… it will help them to not be so afraid of it and more so not be afraid of embracing it.