10 things you should do and discuss with your family in case you died tomorrow
coping with the loss of a family member or loved one is very difficult. although it’s clear to us that birth and death are natural components of life, it doesn’t make the pain of losing someone close to us go away any quicker. death is inevitable. grief is circumstantial. here are some things you can do to lessen the burden of those that will be left to mourn you after your death.
10). create a will.
you may have also heard of this referred to as a “last will and testament.” regardless of what you refer to it as, just know that you need to make yourself one. establishing a will is a good way of letting those you leave behind know what’s supposed to happen with your property. if you don’t own any property, don’t trip. you can use a will for other things as well – such as naming guardians for your children. and the good thing about it is with the worldwide web at our beckoning call, there’s a lot of resources out there to help you write one. you can either use a template to create your own or hire a lawyer to do it for you. so there’s really no excuse.
9). choose someone to be your power of attorney.
this is how you empower someone to act on your behalf in the event that you’re unable to – establish a power of attorney. and if you don’t want to burden one specific person with doing multiple things, no problem. you can choose someone to make medical decisions, someone different to make financial decisions, etc. but the thing is… you have to make it all official. that means filing out the appropriate document, having it notarized and delivered to the appropriate companies and people. no reputable business will honor it unless you do.
8). establish who your beneficiaries will be.
a beneficiary is the person (or people) that receive benefits in the event that you die. although this can be a very challenging decision, it’s important that you actually sit down and make the decision. and while you’re at it, make sure you assign a secondary beneficiary as well. you know, just in case the person you list as your primary beneficiary dies before you or is nowhere to be found. crazier things have happened.
7). write your own obituary.
nobody knows our life’s story like we do. why leave it up to someone else to sum up your life when you’re gone if you’re still here and can do it yourself? it may be awkward – but it’s important that you articulate how you want to be remembered your own obituary. think about it. this is probably the last tangible document that will be used to highlight your life. do you really want to leave it in the hands of someone else? write your own. save it. let someone know where to find it.
6). determine where you want your funeral to be and what should be done with your body.
planning your own funeral can seem very daunting. but you’ll make it much easier for the people you leave behind if you are clear about your expectations. think about what type of service you want for yourself and where you want your body. whether you want to be buried next to your grandfather or scattered across one of your favorite places, make those preferences known now.
5). indicate who you don’t want at your funeral.
some people may call this one petty; i call it real. don’t come to my funeral to celebrate my life if you made life a living hell for me when I was still alive. sorry, not sorry. but forreal, if you know already that there are some people that you can do without at your funeral, you may want to make that known to someone you know will carry out your wishes.
4). write letters to your loved ones, just because.
losing a family member of friend is hard. and whether you realize it or not, you matter. it would be nice if you could somehow write a few letters to the people who were closest to you. it could go a long way with helping them to heal. and don’t worry, there’s many services out there that will keep your letters safe and will only release them when you want them to. I'm sure your loved ones would consider it a comforting gesture if you’re able to pull something like this off.
3). get some insurance.
life insurance provides the money your family and loved ones will need for your funeral costs, immediately. don’t be bogus. make sure you have some type of insurance in place. you may feel like you can’t afford to have insurance but in reality, you can’t afford not to have it.
2). create a consolidated list of your bills, usernames and passwords.
if you’re like me, you have all of your passwords and usernames in your head. that’s fine and all, but it doesn’t help the people you leave behind in their pursuits to tie up all your loose ends when you’re gone – like past due bills or an inactive facebook/instagram account. it may seem like an insignificant thing to you now, but it couldn’t hurt. trust me… the more info you can leave behind, the better.
1). be vocal about your plans with people you love and trust.
you can do everything on the list and more. but if you don’t actually sit down and have a conversation with the family and loved ones who you’ll leave behind, it’ll all be for nothing. make some time to have a much needed conversation with those that matter most. their future without you depends on it, real talk.