Learn About End of Life Arrangements

Having a plan for death is not an easy thing to consider, but it is important. End of life planning is particularly important for seniors, who are in a later stage of life than others. End of life arrangements involves many aspects, from estate handling to funeral arrangements to wills to life insurance and more. In fact, it is a good idea to keep a death preparation checklist as you begin to make your arrangements. This will help you keep track of what you have accomplished and what is still to be done. End of life planning for seniors is easy to put off, but there are drawbacks to a lack of preparation, including not having your estate handled the way you truly wish. In this section, you will learn more about planning for death arrangements, which include estate planning and funerals and alternative services.

Some of the most important end of life arrangements include making sure your estate (i.e., your money and other assets) is handled the way you want it to after you have passed away. Death arrangements without proper estate planning are lacking a key component of holistic death plans. To begin with, you need to consider whether or not you want to have a will drafted. Writing a last will and testament is a great way to formally write how you desire your assets to be handled after you are gone. For example, including a will in your death arrangements will allow you to dictate which assets go to which family members or other persons, as long as there is no legal reason for allowing your wishes. Plans for death often include writing a will as the very first step, and dying without a will can pose problems for your estate and family.

However, a good death preparation checklist does not simply include the writing of wills. In order to include a will in your end of life arrangements, you will need to choose an estate planning attorney to help with the writing. Choosing the right senior planning attorney is an important decision, and you will need to know how to discern between many options. Once you do decide on an attorney, you will need to help that attorney draft the will. End of life planning includes several elements that you should be sure go into your finalized will. One of those elements is your “will executor.” A will executor is someone you designate to handle after death arrangements, specifically in regards to your estate. This executor is typically appointed by a probate court, in reference to your will. End of life planning for seniors should include a chosen will executor or executors who would handle these responsibilities well.

Finally, any death planning guide is incomplete if it does not reference debt management and life insurance policies. Managing debts is one of the most important death arrangements for seniors because of how complex debt makes estate handling after you have passed away. Further, it is an important goal for most people to reach death without significant debt. Life insurance is a natural way to set up relatives who survive you for financial success. Therefore, it is important to know what you should be looking for in a life insurance policy.

Any good death preparation checklist will include estate planning arrangements. However, if you are creating a plan for death, you will probably also want to include your wishes regarding your funeral services and other related desires. Funerals involve many elements and decisions that are often left up to surviving family members to make. However, seniors with the foresight to do end of life planning can set their families up to complete funeral arrangements smoothly and as the honored person wishes. Some funeral elements and decisions include:

  • How to choose a funeral home
  • How to plan a memorial service
  • How to choose a funeral casket or cremation urn
  • Whether you want to be buried or cremated
  • How to find a funeral plot (if applicable)
  • How to write an obituary
  • How to incorporate religious elements into your memorial service (if desired)

There are also other choices to be made in your end of life arrangements regarding your body. Good senior death plans include clearly communicated wishes about cremation versus burial. Each of those decisions carries other death plan questions such as what casket or urn to choose, but they may also contain other expressed desires. For example, you may wish to have your body donated for the advancement of science. If so, you should include this in your death planning.