Even though death is an inevitable part of life, many of us still struggle to cope with it and prepare for it. Most people would prefer not to think about death—we spend countless hours planning get-togethers and vacations or even making investments, but we don’t plan for or think much about death, which is the only thing that is definite in life.
However, you should understand that making arrangements for your death makes life much easier for you and your loved ones. Additionally, preparing for death will make you feel better about death as a natural process and a part of the life cycle—you know that everything’s set and your loved ones will not suffer after your passing.
With that being said, here are the eight must-do’s to get ready for a peaceful death:
1. Don’t Fear Death—Accept It
We tend to live as though we will always be here, which may lead us to leave many things unsaid and undone. By preparing for your death, you can free the people you care about from having to make difficult choices later and pave the way for a peaceful death. But before you can prepare for death, you must first acknowledge that you, like all other living beings, are not immortal beings.
Death is probably the only thing that history has proved to be a fact that no human can avoid. Most people want to believe they are in charge of their lives, but we’re smart enough to realize that we cannot control death. And no matter how long we live, we will visit you one day.
We will all pass away at some point, so instead of living your whole life fearing death, learn to accept our mortality as just like any other scientific fact. To do so, it’s crucial to develop coping mechanisms for your fear of passing away that will enable you to find peace, which can differ from one person to another.
We all want to die well, but what does it mean for you specifically? Where do you want this to happen? Who are the people you want to be with? And how do you imagine a peaceful death? You’ll need to find the answers to all of these questions yourself.
In addition to the practical and emotional aspects of death, the spiritual aspects should also be considered. If you’re religious, get closer to God and read more about death in your religion. Try to figure out how God talks about it and how he wants you to feel about it. This may well help you to accept death much easier.
2. Write Your Will
Although everyone should have a will, it’s rarely the most important estate planning document a person possesses. Before your death, it’s crucial to specify the way you wish your assets to be distributed if you own any financial assets like property. Here are some useful tips to make goodwill:
- Choose the recipients of your will.
- Decide who will be your will’s executor.
- Choose a guardian for your children.
- Be clear about who receives what.
- Be fair about who receives what.
- Attach a letter to your will.
- Sign the will clearly.
- Select a location for your will.
- Examine and revise your will.
- Add additional estate planning paperwork.
The amount of conflict over people’s assets passing away is crazy and can cause severe emotional pain to the grieving family. Making a clear, legal will is crucial if you want to save your loved ones from these possible conflicts.
- Important: Creating a will on your own may be problematic and contested—several businesses provide inexpensive will-writing that will stand up in court.
3.Set Aside Money for Funeral Expenses
Nowadays, a funeral costs between $6,000-$12,000. The price includes the viewing, service fees, burial, casket, embalming, transport, and other prep. A cemetery, marker, monument, or additional expenses like flowers are not included in this price. If you don’t want your loved ones to feel more stressed during this difficult time of their life, then you should set aside money for funeral expenses and have a clear plan as to how and by whom this money will be allocated.
Indicate your preference, so your loved ones know what you want after passing away. Here are the most important questions to which you should have clear answers:
- Do you wish to be cremated or buried?
- If you prefer to be buried, what is your preferred place to get buried?
- Do you have a burial plot?
- What is your preferred type of headstone?
- Where will the service take place?
Once you have clear answers to these questions, you can accurately calculate how much your funeral will cost. Try to estimate the costs accurately and set aside funds to pay for them later. It would be great if you could prepay for everything and let your family know about this.
4. Make Funeral Arrangements
Making funeral arrangements guarantees that your funeral will accurately reflect your views, character, and relationships. Additionally, it helps your loved ones relieve some stress in such a difficult situation.
There are other benefits of taking out a funeral plan. For example, it enables you to freeze the costs at current rates, which clarifies your wishes and saves a good sum of money.
5. Make a Detailed list of Your Financial State
Although the majority of your assets are often distributed in your will, financial obligations should also be considered. Make a detailed list of your pensions and policies so your beneficiaries can quickly access all the required information. You should locate the share certificates, list any stock holdings, and provide a list of bank account information.
Additionally, you should gather details about your debts in one place, particularly significant ones like your credit cards, car loans, and mortgage. This will make it easier for your beneficiaries to pay their bills later.
6. Consider Purchasing a Life Insurance
Life insurance is a very important asset many consider as a part of their long-term financial plans. Life insurance is a means to safeguard the people you care for by providing them with the necessary money after you pass away. For instance, you may purchase a life insurance policy to pay for your kids’ education or help your spouse pay bills.
It’s important to learn about life insurance and how your beneficiaries get the money, which can also help you choose the best payout option that can serve your estate planning goals. When you buy a life insurance policy, you consent to make premium payments to keep your coverage intact.
It’s crucial to think about the following when purchasing life insurance:
- The amount of coverage you require
- What you will pay for premiums
- If any, which riders would you like to add?
- The variations among insurance quotes for several potential policies
- Choosing between term life and a permanent life insurance policy
The person or people you designated as beneficiaries of the policy can receive a death benefit from the life insurance company in the event of your passing. Some life insurance plans provide both death and living benefits. You can get the death benefit of your insurance policy while you are still alive from a living benefit rider.
This is particularly useful if you have a terminal illness and require money to cover the costs of medical care. Term life insurance typically costs less than permanent life insurance, but the latter can provide more advantages like cash value accumulation.
- Pro tip: You can opt for a life insurance calculator to determine a death benefit in terms of coverage amounts.
In a nutshell, purchasing life insurance can help protect your kids and spouse from the potentially catastrophic financial losses that could occur in the event of your passing—it offers financial stability, assists in covering living expenses, aids in debt repayment, and helps in covering medical costs.
7. Complete Medical Directives
Completing medical directives is an important step you want to take early. If you cannot voice your preferences, what kind of medical treatment would you like to receive? This is an important question that you should have a clear answer to. It may also be wise to discuss this first with your loved ones.
Documenting your preferences in a formal manner is even better so that you won’t have to worry about paying for high-priced legal proceedings later. To ensure everything goes the way you wish, you’ll need to have the following documents:
|Advance Health Care Directive (Living Will)||Which outlines your preferences for the medical care you receive. For instance, do you wish to exhaust all treatments available? Or are there any treatments (such as feeding tubes, dialysis, or CPR) that you would prefer not to receive? Do you wish to donate your organs?|
|Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare (Healthcare Proxy or Medical Power of Attorney)||If you’re injured, unwell, or unable to voice your preferences for any other reason, this document names a representative who will speak on your behalf. You can name a medical power of attorney on your living will in several states. They may also check your medical records, apply for Medicare, and make medical decisions not covered by your living will.|
|Financial Power of Attorney||If you become ill or cannot manage your financial and legal matters on your own, you can designate a person who can do this for you. Depending on your needs and preferences, many types of powers of attorney exist. A durable power of attorney is a common choice since it enables your power of attorney to manage your finances as soon as you need it and lasts until your death. |
When you pass away, your power of attorney will no longer have power. If a different individual is named as the executor of your will, they manage your finances after your passing.
You can either search for the forms of your state online and fill them out on your own or seek a lawyer’s help to complete medical directives. You’ll find that some documents need a notary stamp and the signatures of two witnesses. After completing the process, make sure a copy is available to your designated agents, doctor, and family.
8. Don’t Forget Your Digital Matters
Important information like bank accounts should be accessible online by family members after passing. You should also allow them to disable some services like your Facebook and Instagram pages.
Make it easier for your loved ones to do this by leaving a list of all your usernames and passwords in an online password manager or a deposit box. You also want to include how you wish your accounts to be handled. Your family won’t have to provide a death certificate, photo ID, or other information to access your accounts.
- Pro tip: You can find services that enable you to transfer data to your family members easily. These services allow you to specify your trusted family members and grant them access to your accounts.
No matter how long you live, life is too short. However, never stop enjoying the blessings in your life and just think about dying 24/7—life is incredible and full of beautiful moments you deserve. This is a little reminder that all living beings die, including humans. So, why not die in the best, most peaceful way possible? The arrangements we mentioned above will help you find peace and ensure that your loved ones will be fine later.