Over the past few months, we’ve discussed how to approach end-of-life planning. Part I discussed 5 Important Tasks to Prepare for End Of Life and Part II focused on 8 Key Documents for Your End-of-Life Planning.
More Considerations For Your End-of-Life Planning
End-Of-Life Planning Series – Part III
Every person has their own unique set of circumstances, needs, and wishes when it comes to planning for their end-of-life, so it’s important that you carefully consider your priorities. Here are some key considerations:
For many of your accounts, you will need to go through the process of naming a beneficiary. However, many don’t realize the high importance of this step. Beneficiaries listed on an account level take precedence over those listed in your will. Therefore, it is critical to review listed beneficiaries on your accounts on a regular basis to ensure they’re complete and up to date. All retirement accounts should have at least one beneficiary named—regardless of your current age. Even some taxable accounts can have beneficiaries if you’ve opted for the Transfer on Death (TOD) feature.
Funeral/Disposition Costs & Arrangements
Planning your funeral service in advance can ease stress and difficult decision-making placed upon your family. Start by noting the source of funding for the funeral service and state your preference for burial or cremation. Next, consider doing the following:
Prepare an obituary for yourself
Create a list of family and friends that you would like to be notified about your funeral service
Write letters to your loved ones to be distributed once you’re gone
Veterans should make their wishes known if they want to have military funeral honors and be buried in a national or state VA cemetery. Eligibility varies per location and should be reviewed in advance. Family members of veterans may receive a burial allowance that can be used for the burial, funeral, and transportation costs and, they may also qualify for survivor benefits. Check the Department of Veterans Affairs for eligibility.
By having a Buy and Sell Agreement, the transfer or reassignment of a partner’s share of the business is stipulated within the contract. Not only does this deter costly battles between the business partners and surviving family members, but this also helps avoid having to go to probate court.
For those still working, you should consider listing your employer’s contact information so that a surviving family member can notify them of your passing.
If you have a pension, it will only be passed on to your spouse if you originally opted for the Rights of Survivorship option. Make sure to review how your pension was structured so that you can plan and budget accordingly.
Though there are a lot of decisions to be made in the preparation of your passing, they should not be taken lightly. Your preparation will directly affect your loved ones and the legacy you leave behind. If you’re looking for further guidance when it comes to end-of-life planning, Stonemark Wealth Management can help.