Life is inevitably characterized by death. After losing a family member or loved one, people experience pain and grief. Often the situation gets worse if legal issues are involved, resulting in family conflicts. During this difficult time, people accumulate sourness and distance instead of supporting each other. These challenges are typically the result of a lack of planning when they could have been much easier if a good plan had been in place.
In this article, we discuss seven specific ways that you can make life easier for your loved ones after you die. We drew on our own experiences to create this list.
1. Have an Estate Plan in Place
Having your estate plan before you pass away is the first step you can take in making your family’s life easier. Your heirs will inherit your estate after you die, consisting of all the money, properties, and debts you have accumulated during your lifetime. When you do not have a written estate plan, things become more difficult.
Often at funerals, when families are supposed to be grieving, things get out of hand because of the lack of estate planning. The loss of family patriarchs and matriarchs leads to a battle over whose role it will be to lead the family and manage wealth transfer.
To save your family from the horrors of such a situation, make sure you deal with your financial affairs, including estate planning documents.
2. Maintain A Master Binder For All Documents
Next, you can make your family and loved ones’ lives much easier by storing all of your important documents and information in a master document binder or some other system. You may want to include important documents and information about your bank accounts, credit cards, investment accounts, and information about your digital assets, including emails, online banking, social media accounts, and any other digital assets that you own. Also, this is where you give all of the information your family will need to access and deal with all the things you normally handled yourself when you were alive.
3. Invest In Some Life Insurance
If you truly want to ease the burden on your family and loved ones after you pass away, it is a wise decision to purchase life insurance as part of your basic estate plan. The loss of a family member or loved raw emotions and grief often accompanies one, but many people also experience confusion, worry, and anxiety regarding finances. Those left behind can sometimes wonder how to pay for food, housing, gas, and other necessities after a family member or loved one passes away. An insurance policy can solve that problem.
You can make your family and loved ones feel better by creating a financial cushion that will provide them with some breathing room or figure out how to get moving in the financial direction they want to go in.
4. Write An Instruction Letter
A final letter of instructions for your family is a good idea in addition to completing your estate planning. You have the opportunity to express your final love and affection to each of your family members or loved ones in this letter. In addition, you can specify where you would like to be buried, if you would like to be cremated or buried in a casket, and what kinds of memorial services you would like.
Your testament does not appear in this document. It only allows you to state your final wishes about each of these matters, but it has no real legal significance. Family and loved ones are often more likely to carry out the wishes stated in a letter of instructions.
5. Prepare Them Emotionally
Although some people have no idea when their night on earth will be their last, others do. It is difficult to comprehend the truth of death. Not just for you but for your family as well, who will go through the grieving period without you. To prepare them emotionally and help them cope with your passing, you can:
Honor The People In Your Life Who Matter Most
Tell them how much you love them and are grateful for them now. Tell them about memories that are meaningful to both of you. That way, they will have something to remember you by.
Offer An Apology To Those You Have Hurt
When you are nearing the end of your life, it can be helpful to apologize to people you may have hurt. The act is not just peaceful for you, but other people you have hurt may benefit from this process. Give this act of healing to those who matter to you.
Forgive Your Loved Ones If They Have Hurt You
While some people may not deserve your forgiveness, letting go of hate can lead to peace. It is important that you share how they hurt you and why you are willing to let go of it now. The other person might also be remorseful and seek forgiveness.
6. Plan Your Funeral in Advance
In order to ease the burden on your loved ones after your passing, you can pre-plan your funeral. In other words, the prepayment simply means that you have made your funeral arrangements and selected what you really want as part of your funeral services. During the shock of dealing with the loss of a loved one, many families and loved ones make funeral decisions. It is common for family members to express that they wish they would have had a little more time to grieve or if the process had been completed earlier so they would not have to worry about it as they grieved.
7. Gather Important Documents And Contact Information
Organize important documents in a folder. Among these are bank accounts, mortgages, insurance policies, employer contact information, estate planning, safe combinations, social security cards, and more.
Prepare a list of close friends and family members, including their contact information, for your loved ones to contact in the event of your death. Rather than seeing it posted on social media, this can be a more sensitive way to tell them.
Loving family doesn’t always mean providing for them in their lifetime; sometimes, it also means caring about them even after you’re long gone. Grief is often not the only cause of hardship a family face after their loved one has passed. Often there are legal and custodial battles they have to go through. By planning life insurance, creating an estate plan, and preparing your family emotionally, you can mitigate the chance of emotional and financial stress they will go through after your passing. While this list of things you can do to ease the burden on your family is not exhaustive, it’s certainly helpful. You cannot erase the pain by doing so, but it’s a good place to start.