Planning for the end of your life isn’t always the most fun thing to think about, especially when you’re young and enjoying life with your family. Many people think that end-of-life planning is reserved for the actual end of one’s life, but that doesn’t have to be the case. In fact, thinking and planning for the future, including the end of your life, can be an important step in preparing for any possibility. Of course, thinking about the possibility of death can feel like a deep subject that needs to be approached gently, especially when it comes to details like caring for children and funeral arrangements, so it’s okay to take your time and go slowly with these things.
Even if you don’t decide on everything right away, talking with your spouse and brainstorming about end-of-life plans can be important conversations to have. Plus, if you have children, setting up plans in case something ever happens is the most responsible thing to do. From your will to your plans for your body, there are so many ways to plan for your post-life wishes. Your wishes might even grow and change along with you, and that’s totally okay. If you and your spouse are getting started on post-life wishes, here are a few factors you’ll want to consider.
Making a Will
Having a will is one of the first things people think about when it comes to end-of-life planning — as it should be! Whether you have financial assets, intellectual property or physical property you want to leave to people, you should have specific plans for those things. While you and your spouse will likely name one another as the primary recipient of most of your assets, but this isn’t always the case, so be specific! You can meet with a lawyer or even use an online service to get this started.
One thing you don’t need to wait on is purchasing life insurance so your family will have financial support in the event of your death, no matter when that happens. While life insurance might seem complicated, it can actually be a very straightforward process. The most logical option for most couples is joint life insurance, which is a form of permanent life insurance. That way, you can go in on it together with both first-to-die and second-to-die options for compensation.
Body Brain Storming
What about the actual body? Nowadays, there are so many options when it comes to body planning, from embalming to natural burial — and even cremation. A lot goes into what you want done with your body — maybe you want to be an organ donor and have a completely natural burial. Maybe you want to donate your body to science. Talk with your partner about the possibilities and brainstorm together.
While body wishes and funeral wishes might be related, but they aren’t entirely the same. What you want for your funeral can also be an ongoing brainstorm, too — from the people to the mood of the party. Many people would rather have a casual party for their friends and loved ones to celebrate their life rather than a traditional funeral, and if that sounds like you, it’s important to make your wishes known.
Talking With the Kids
One of the hardest parts of end-of-life planning is knowing about the people who you’ll one day leave behind, and if you have children, that includes them. While it might be hard to consider, having an open and honest relationship with death from an early age can help your children process any loss, whether that be a pet or a loved one. You and your spouse can begin to talk with your child about death early on so that they can better handle it when it does come — no matter what form it may take.
Another part of end-of-life planning is the delegation of responsibilities to trusted individuals in your life. For example, you and your spouse should have a conversation about naming a guardian for your children — if you have them — in the event that something happens to both of you. In addition, giving someone power of attorney to make medical or other decisions, granting someone intellectual property rights, passing on pets and passing on a business you own should all be points of consideration in the event of your passing. While these things may be stressful to think about, it’s important to consider them.
End-of-Life Planning With Your Spouse
Planning for the end of your life isn’t always the most cheerful subject, but it often feels so much better when you know that you’ve taken care of everything in the event of an emergency. From your kids to your financial assets, you want to know that things are taken care of, even if you’re gone. Have you thought about end-of-life planning yet?