End-of-life plans refer to specific decisions a person has made about finances, healthcare, and legal matters. Many people avoid making end-of-life plans because they do not want to think about their death. In fact, 60% of American adults do not have a living trust or a legal will.
You can prevent your dependents from experiencing the stress of making difficult medical and legal decisions by looking after your end-of-life planning yourself. You may also take comfort in the fact that your choices will be respected and implemented every step of the way. You can ensure your end-of-life planning is complete by taking the steps explored here.
- Use Your Financial Resources
You may have a number of financial assets that can be used to cover your medical and legal expenses. These assets include property, savings, investments, and your life insurance policy.
As you age, you may realize that you need a different living environment. You may opt to move to a senior community or an assisted living facility if you are unable to drive or your home has a lot of stairs that you find difficult to climb. One way to cover those costs is by selling your existing home. You may also choose to retain your home as a rental property if you have enough money in savings and investments to cover the cost of moving.
You can also opt to have a viatical settlement broker prepare a viatical settlement. What is a viatical settlement? A viatical settlement refers to the sale of your life insurance policy. A buyer purchases your life insurance policy for a lump sum cash payout. The buyer becomes the beneficiary of the policy and also assumes responsibility for any remaining policy payments. You can use the money to cover any expenses you choose.
- Make Long-Term Medical Decisions
You may have a health issue or medical emergency that causes you to lose consciousness or become disoriented. In situations like this, you would be unable to make medical decisions yourself. Medical professionals will then follow your living will, also referred to as an advance healthcare directive. This document governs what medical acts can and cannot be performed on you. You can choose to prevent medical professionals from performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or using feeding tubes and ventilators to keep you alive.
If you do not have a living will, medical experts will refer to the person you have given medical power of attorney rights to. This person may be a sibling or dependent. They will be required to make decisions about your medical treatment.
In the event that you do not have a living will or someone with medical power of attorney, medical professionals will follow the wishes of your next of kin. You can prevent your family from being put in a difficult decision, or from making decisions that you would not approve by preparing the appropriate medical documents to ensure your care decisions are followed.
- Handle Your Legal Matters
A last will is a legal document that determines who will receive money and items from your estate. The last will takes effect after you pass away. A living trust is similar, but it takes effect while you are still alive. The trustee manages your assets. It’s typically more expensive to establish a living trust, but the advantage is that there is no requirement to go to court after you have passed away because the trust is already in effect. When you have a last will or a living trust, you can be confident the assets from your estate will be distributed as you see fit. You can prevent family conflict and legal challenges with these documents.
Your legal documents can appoint someone to be the guardian of your minor children. This will ensure that any dependents you have will be raised by the person of your choice. It is also possible to outline your final arrangements in your will. You can provide information about the type of funeral service you want, and make other decisions, such as whether you wish to be buried or cremated.