Planning for the end of life can be an unpleasant experience. Unsurprisingly, most people are apprehensive to plan ahead for their death. While you may be hesitant to think about the end of your life, doing so can protect your estate and can reduce some stress during what will undoubtedly be a difficult time for your loved ones.
What’s more, end-of-life complications can also impact your legacy. Your estate planning shouldn’t only cover what happens after death. It should also include guidance and instruction for your loved ones and health care providers during the final years of your life. Below are three reasons why your estate plan should address end-of-life issues:
strong>Incapacitation could affect your estate and health care.
Incapacitation can be one of the most difficult things to prepare for. Incapacitation is the inability to make decisions about your finances or your health care treatment. It can also be the inability to communicate those decisions. Typically caused by things like Alzheimer’s, dementia or strokes, it can create significant amounts of stress and uncertainty for you and your loved ones. In the worst case, people around you may even take advantage of your situation as an opportunity to enrich themselves.
However, careful planning can help you protect your estate and ensure the best health care decisions are being made on your behalf. Things such as power-of-attorney documents or a living will can help protect you and ensure your estate and health are being managed the way you would want.
Your beneficiary designations may not be accurate.
Life insurance policies, IRAs, annuities and other asset classes typically have named beneficiaries. Sometimes people can forget to update their beneficiaries after major life events, like marriage, divorce or the birth of a child. This leaves inappropriate people, such as an ex-spouse, as beneficiaries on policies or assets.
If you make a mistake and leave out a loved one, like a child or current spouse, as a beneficiary, they will likely have no legal recourse. Listed beneficiaries typically are final, and the decision is very rarely overturned in court. Take time to review and update these beneficiaries before you reach an end-of-life state in which you don’t have the cognitive ability to do so.
Your family will already be stressed and emotionally fragile.
The end of someone’s life is a difficult time for the person who is dying and for their loved ones. Along with trying to handle your care and your finances, they will be struggling with their emotions and the reality of life without you.
Advanced planning on your part can help relieve them of additional stress in an already emotionally charged situation. You wouldn’t want the people you care about most to deal with tough decisions and uncertainty at the end of your life. You also likely don’t want your loved ones disagreeing and arguing with one another about possible decisions. An end-of-life plan can minimize those risks.
Have you adequately planned for end-of-life challenges? Contact us at TB Financial. We can help you evaluate your objectives and needs, and then develop a strategy. Let’s connect soon and start the conversation.
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16110 – 2016/9/20