Despite recognizing the importance of end-of-life planning, only 21 percent of Americans have actually prepared their estate, according to a recent survey by the National Funeral Directors Association. As with a midlife career change, the final step of life is as big a step as any, and thus requires careful planning and deliberation. If you’re feeling lost on how to start on the right path, here are three simple tips to help you budget for your end-of-life plan.
Taking Stock of Your Finances
As with any phase of life, getting your financial bearings is an essential part of end-of-life budgeting. First, gather all your financial documents and keep them in one place for easy reference. To get this done quickly, enlist the help of your extended family to gather up any documents relevant to your personal finances that you may have left in their care.
After this is done, take stock of all of your financial details. This includes your spending, income sources, savings, and debts. Take all of your property holdings and investments into account as well. Having this information readily available will be an immense help to you and to anyone helping you manage your financial affairs when the situation arises.
Financially Preparing For Long-Term Care And Final Expenses
The term “long-term care” is going to take on a whole new relevance. What once was an investment you took for your elderly loved ones now applies directly to you. Your health and mobility levels are going to be primary factors on how much you must spend in that regard. To help prepare for this expense, look into local authority funding, and claim all pensions and allowances that you may be eligible for.
If you’re wondering exactly how much does final expense insurance cost, one thing to keep in mind is that final expense insurance is more costly once you’ve reached the age of 60. It is best to start planning ahead of time. You can also set up a savings account specifically for final expenses. However, it may be less convenient than purchasing a plan from a provider.
Planning The Distribution of Your Estate
This primarily entails writing a notarized will. Note, however, that this document is sensitive to technical mistakes. So, it’s best to get professional help in making a last will and testament. Also, if you had written a will prior to a recent marriage or civil union, you may have nulled the provisions of your will in the process.
Without a will, the government will distribute your assets in a prescribed manner, without regard for your relationships to the recipients. Writing a will with the help of professionals, however, allows you to specify details of the distribution. Doing so will even help you avoid the hefty inheritance tax.
As your story draws to a close, you’re meant to have an easy, peaceful time recounting memories and taking stock of all the good things in life. Ensuring that your affairs are fully in order allows for this, and will leave you with the satisfying feeling of closure during the most precious chapter of your life.