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Preparing for End of Life

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My parents have now been here for two weeks and we anticipate they will stay through this week as well. We are so glad that came and have truly enjoyed getting to spend quality time with each of them.

I am especially glad my mom is getting to see her mother a couple of times a week. And we were able to celebrate my grandmother’s 93rd birthday together. We have all heard the horror stories about how families haven’t gotten to spend last moments together due to COVID.

When the Older Generations Get Together

While they have been here, there have been lots of end of life talk. Not about people dying as much as preparing for it legally. Between my parents, their siblings and my grandmother, there are lots of aches, pains and just general “growing old” health issues.

My grandparents, on both sides, prepared for their deaths early on. Although differently, they both set up their estates for their health choices, their assets, their final resting place and services and more to be handled by their 3 children and be as fair as possible.

But even now, almost 20 years after my grandparents on my dad’s side passed, they are dealing with division of property and financial decisions. And with my mom’s mother in long term care, there are lots of decisions and caretaking responsibilities to be handled on a weekly basis.

You just don’t think about all this until you see it. And we have seen a lot of it this week.

Planning for End of Life

I wrote a week or so ago about the options I am considering with my life insurance. And I’ve already designated who will take care of the minor kids should something happen to me and my desires for how that care would be given. This decision has changed a couple of times over the years especially affected by the ages of the kids.

But I don’t have a will per se. I mean, I don’t really own anything of value. My question is, what resources have you used to prepare to end of life. What documents do you have prepared and where do you keep them? Who have you discussed your decisions with?

If you have any free or low cost online resources for this type of planning, please share them in the comments. I think I’m going to create a notebook with all the documents and my notes so it’s accessible. And more than that, I’m going to sit the kids down and discuss my decisions and plans should something happen to me.

I’ve learned a lot this week about where my grandparents went right in their planning and then also seen some things that I don’t want my kids to have to deal with or wonder when I’m gone (or losing my mind which is a very real possibility based on family history).

 


8 Comments

  • Reply Jen |

    Yes, you need life insurance. I very much doubt you have enough in savings to pay for a funeral, forget taking care of final medical expenses, and paying off debt for anything your children might like to keep (like the car).

    I’m not so worried about your kids getting some money, I’m worried about them trying to bury (or cremate) you.

    • Reply Hope |

      Yes, I have a solid life insurance policy. I purchased it when I was pregnant with Gymnast, or was it Princess? Either way, I wrote about it previously. I’m looking for any other preparations I should make at this juncture.

    • Reply Hope |

      Oh, and definitely cremation! They already know this choice. We’ve talked about it several times due to my mom’s situation and the discussions we have had about that for her (also her choice.)

  • Reply Emily N. |

    I don’t know anything about wills, but since you’re divorced and your children’s father lives in another state, I strongly recommend that you speak with a lawyer.

    • Reply Lisa |

      I agree. Plus, my husband and I got wills drawn up by a lawyer for $150 each. That’s not a bad cost for peace of mind.

  • Reply Cynthia |

    Suze Orman had a comprehensive kit years ago that was a flat fee and could be updated over the years. I’m not sure she still sells it, but it’s worth a look if she does.

  • Reply Jackie Brown |

    I’m currently in the stages of planning for end-of-life as I have a stage 4 esophageal cancer I’v. my husband knows all my wishes and I also have an advance directive drawn up and we have a burial plot and everything all secure in case I end up dying sooner than was expected which I don’t really have a timeline now because I could last year’s or I could be be gone by Christmas but I made sure everybody knows my wishes and my husband is on board with them. I don’t really have a will because I don’t really have any assets or anything. I don’t have life insurance I did have it through work but since I’m no longer working due to my illness and I lost that and I don’t have money to give me more because cancer is very expensive.

  • Reply JP |

    We just lost my Mom. She had a handwritten will and not many assets and it was sufficient. She had me and others on her banking accounts, that helped so we can just move money etc.

    The biggest blessing is that she had all her arrangements made and paid for years prior. She went to the funeral home and told them everything she wanted and paid for it up front. Having had deaths both ways, that was so much of a blessing because we didnt pay a penny for anything and actually got money back, plus we knew what service she wanted, cremation, ashes distributed etc. Especially as a single parent having people you trust on your accounts would help and the prepaid thing definitely.

So, what do you think ?