Dying is not as stigmatized as it used to be. Slowly, more people are discussing how to prepare for death. In fact, most Americans agree that sharing their end-of-life wishes is important to do – though the majority of us don’t until crises arise.
Preparing for death at a minimum means sharing your plans with loved ones. Basic planning often begins with deciding between cremation or burial. But there are many facets to the question: Are you in a good place to die? These include being ready financially, emotionally and digitally? Here are some things to think about and some resources that may help you prepare to answer the question.
Have conversations before a crisis
Programs such as The Conversation Project and Talk of a Lifetime encourage people of all ages to talk about their end-of-life wishes prior to a health crisis. They’ve been effective in encouraging people to talk about what they would like to happen before they enter crisis mode.
Fortunately, that mindset is slowly changing with community education events and the death positive movement, which involves casual and convention-style events, is growing across the globe.
As more people open up about their end-of-life wishes, people are also exploring alternative ways to depart this world, ranging from green burials and celebrations of life to turning cremated remains into jewelry or ink for tattoos. We’ve assembled a lot of information about the death positive movement in this free download. Hopefully it will help you begin important conversations with your loved ones.
Are you emotionally ready to plan?
Many people are unsure about what they want, and this is entirely normal and perfectly OK. You may not even know all of your options, which is why speaking with a pre-planning counselor is so important. You can discuss your values, beliefs and ideas, and get professional input on how that might translate into a service and arrangements that are right for you.
It is also not uncommon for people to worry about what will happen to their plans if they move. It’s important to note that, while arrangements can be transferred to any funeral home, they may not honor the original price. To avoid any surprises, you may want research ahead of time in order to find out what different services cost in different states.
If this is of particular concern to you, our team will work with you to make sure you know your options.
Financial planning for the end
Taking one more step, you can also formalize your end-of-life arrangements with us. This means choosing all the details of your end-of-life services. Then, you have the option of paying for your service choices in one lump sum, or using a payment plan to pay over a time period that you choose.
Consider the benefits of doing this ahead of time:
One, this locks in your wishes. Once the arrangements are made and paid for, they cannot be changed after you’re gone. (You can still update your wishes and arrangements while you are still alive.) Your family cannot alter your plan after you have passed, unless this is stipulated in your arrangements.
Second, once your arrangements are paid for, that price does not change, even if you thrive for several more decades. You won’t – and your family won’t – owe any more money. There is a guarantee fee to lock in the price. (Your family may owe for third-party items that increase with time, such as cemetery fees or obituary costs.)
The services you arranged and paid for will be provided, or as comparable a service as exists at that time. At the time of your passing, neither your estate nor your family members will need to come up with money for a traditional funeral and burial ceremony.
Are you prepared digitally?
In a connected world, managing digital assets after a death is becoming an increasingly important step in planning our final arrangements and those of our loved ones.
Think about after you’ve died, you may have digital assets that continue to live – such as various social media profiles, online bank accounts, online data storage accounts and email accounts. It’s important to determine how to manage these items after they’re gone.
This download provides detailed information about managing a variety of online accounts and the data stored within them upon death. Learn how to pre-arrange for the management of your social media profiles (such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.), online bank accounts, online data storage accounts, email accounts, and more.
The more we shine the light on the reality that is death – something inevitable for all of us – the more we can begin to remove some of the fear and confusion from the topic and get to a good place on the subject.