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Death Happens: How to Prepare Your Finances For Your Family’s Benefit

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While death is of course inevitable, the dialogue surrounding it is beginning to change – to the extent that cultural attitudes towards it are slowly but surely seeing a transformation. It’s because of this, in part at least, that we are now more than at any time in the past taking an active role in planning for it. While loved ones will certainly grieve when you pass, they may also be impacted financially. The financial stress they may feel due to funeral expenses, the loss of your income and more can impact the family for many years to come. However, some financial planning now can help them navigate through this event with less stress.




Make Funeral Arrangements Ahead of Time

With many funeral homes, you can make your funeral arrangements ahead of time. For example, purchase a funeral package that may include your coffin, a limousine and more. By selecting the package in your living years and by paying for it ahead of time, your family will not have to worry about the cost of your burial or service while mourning your loss. You can read more on funeral plans at the Natural Death Centre charity’s site. Providers offer different levels of service (see example funeral plans here.)

Purchase Life Insurance

Another smart idea is to purchase a life insurance policy. If you already have a life insurance policy, you may consider reviewing it to ensure that it still provides you with the coverage that you need. There are many ways that your family can use the death benefits from a policy, so you may consider reviewing options with your family. For example, some death benefits may be used by the family to pay off debts or a mortgage, and this can lower their expenses so that they can maintain their lifestyle without your income. Policies and providers differ, however – so read up before buying. This Independent article highlights some of the questions you should ask.



Prepare a Will

You may also create a will now to prepare for your passing. This will make it easier for your family to settle your estate and for your possessions to pass to your heirs. It may also define which heirs will gain possession of which assets after you pass. There are some websites that enable you to create your own will online, or you can work with a lawyer to prepare a will. If you have a will, consider reviewing and updating it so that it meets your current needs.

It may be impossible to prepare for all of the effects that your death will have on your family, but you can prepare for this event from a financial standpoint. There are several steps that you can take now that can help you to reduce the impact of your death on your family. If you have not already taken these steps, now is a great time to get started. While you can and should plan and prepare for death, you do not know when it will occur. Because of this, it is best to avoid delaying when making your end of life arrangements.