Before funerals at funeral homes in Cleveland, OH, being prepared for the end of life is something that everyone should make a priority. While some people prepare for the end of their lives before the onset of aging and/or poor health, many people do not.
If you don’t prepare for the end of your life, then you place a heavy burden on your family. They will have to make decisions based on what they think you might have wanted, and that creates a lot of unnecessary stress for them, as they are also working to give you care and be there for you.
If you don’t have a will or living trust, for example, your estate will go into probate. What that means is that all of your assets – bank accounts, retirement accounts, property, etc. – will be frozen and no one (unless a family member also has access to them by being on the accounts or co-owner) can touch them until the court says so.
Having your estate goes into probate will create financial hardships for your family. You might have outstanding financial obligations that they can’t pay. In addition, if you don’t have a will, then the courts, not you, will decide how your estate is divided among your surviving family members.
If you don’t have a medical power of attorney in place, then there will be no one you trust to advocate on your behalf in medical matters if you are not able to advocate for yourself. This may mean that even though your family members know what you want in terms of medical care because you don’t have a legal document that gives them the right to enforce your wishes, you may receive the medical care you don’t want or, perhaps, even need.
If you don’t have a living will, then medical professionals are bound to take all measures necessary to keep you alive if you are dying, whether that is what you want or not.
If you have these, then you’ve made a good start. But there are other things you need to consider when preparing for the end of life.
One of these things is to make a palliative care plan. Palliative care is the middle step between home health care (after an acute illness) and hospice care (death is imminent). Palliative care offers all the same services like home health care, except that nurse visits are cut down to once a week.
Another thing you need to do to prepare for the end of your life is to document all your online account information (websites, usernames and passwords, WiFi passwords, bank account numbers and PINs, medical IDs, and insurance policy numbers).
While many smartphones offer fingerprint access to unlock the phones, if you choose this method your survivors will not be able to unlock your phone after your death. It’s wiser to choose a numeric pin so that they will be able to retrieve contacts, voicemails, and text messages.
Documenting your online presence will help family members who will be managing your online presence (social media, blogs, etc.), online banking, financial assets, and businesses that are online. You can use a free password manager to manage all of these.
Finally, you should plan your funeral. You can either write out the details of what you want at your funeral or you can visit with your funeral home and do the preplanning for your funeral with them. This will be a great gift to your loved ones who don’t have to grieve your death and try to plan your funeral as well.