Prudential Financial: How to Start Thinking About Life Insurance and End-of-Life Planning

It's common for families to struggle with talking about end-of-life planning no matter how soon the conversation starts. The thought of preparing for the day a loved one passes away is daunting to say the least, but unfortunately necessary.

With many factors to consider, one of the biggest questions is where to start. End-of-life planning does not have to be overwhelming as long as the planning process starts sooner than later. This can help reduce the burden on others and ensures final wishes are carried out appropriately.

Talk to family and friends about end-of-life decisions

One of the difficult parts about discussing end-of-life planning is beginning the conversation. Talking to relatives is especially important because they need to be informed and able to implement the plan.

It's a good idea to brainstorm what will be discussed and who to trust with important decisions when the time comes. Creating a list of the main points to speak on, including life insurance coverage details, funeral arrangements, burial procedures, and final wishes, will also help guide the discussion.

If having an in-person conversation is too difficult, writing a letter or sending an email is another option. This provides reasonable time to ensure that the information is accurate and straight to the point, and can also give the recipient time to formulate their response.

Make sure a life insurance policy is in place

One oversight many people make is not having a life insurance policy at the end of their life. This can mean stress and financial strain for those left behind during an already difficult time.

Life insurance provides beneficiaries a financial benefit after the death of an insured person. It helps relieve the question of paying for a proper burial and covering any financial responsibilities of the deceased, such as any loans or mortgages that were co-borrowed or any financial dependents that will need support.

Create a detailed list of assets

It's best to create a detailed list of assets, so they're all accounted for when needed. So, what are assets? Assets are the important things that a person has accumulated during their lifespan that they want to pass down to their beneficiaries.

Assets include:

  • Valuable personal property (such as furniture or fine jewelry)
  • Vehicles
  • Real Estate
  • Checking accounts
  • Savings accounts
  • Retirement funds

Arrange end-of-life planning documents

It's essential to prepare and organize the documents that will come in handy when the unexpected occurs. The following are some of the primary documents that are important to have and keep in a safe place:

  • Living Trust: This legal document features where a person would like their assets to go when they are no longer living.
  • Living Will: This document allows people to provide their desires for end-of-life medical care. Unlike a will, this document has no power after death. Its purpose is to enable people to communicate their decisions if they cannot speak for themselves.
  • Last Will and Testament: This communicates the deceased's final wishes when it comes to their assets and dependents.
  • POA: This document gives one person power to make legal decisions on behalf of someone else. It is helpful for someone who has a terminal illness and cannot act on their own behalf.
  • Organ/Tissue Donor Designation: This is typically placed on a person's driver's license or through a state donor registry and specifies their decision to donate their organs, eyes, or tissues after death.

A person can never be too prepared for what lies ahead. Beginning end-of-life planning now can make a world of difference for the legacy that's left behind.



Source: Prudential Financial


Categories: Finance

Tags: financial services, insurance, life insurance

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