Your Will and Other Important Decisions to Make Now

Your Will and Other Important Decisions to Make Now

Don’t put off writing your will. Estate planning may make people uneasy because it deals with death. However, it can give people incredible peace of mind.

Here are some elements of final planning that your family will appreciate you settling for them in the event of your passing away.

Wills and trusts

The first step in estate planning is a will. A 2016 survey by Harris Poll for Rocket Lawyer found that 64% percent of American adults don’t have a will. Either they thought they didn’t need one or they never got around to it.

This document is where you state who you want to inherit your money and property, among other directions. A will is also where parents can name a guardian to care for their young children. Without a will, whatever assets you own, such as a summer home, a car, or jewelry, will end up in probate court. Even less-expensive items, such as Grandma’s knitted shawl, can cause a big headache.

Another option is a living trust. A trust transfers assets from your name to your beneficiaries. A living trust goes into effect immediately, whereas a will becomes active after your death.

End-of-life decisions

It is important to communicate with loved ones your exact wishes in the event you are unable to make medical decisions for yourself. Do you want to be resuscitated or kept on life support? Do you want to donate your organs? In the living will a health care declaration exists with a power of attorney stating who will ensure your medical wishes are granted.


Document if you want a funeral. Do you want to have a burial or cremation? Some people who are terminally ill and die from complications from disease plan in advance. In this situation, you can arrange life insurance and prepay for funeral plots, years in advance. Other important details to identify include asking yourself if you want a life celebration or some other memorial service. Estimate how much the funeral will cost. Are you a veteran? Do you have funds put aside for funeral costs?

These are just a few details to think of involving end-of-life decisions. Although they may be hard to think about, they are important for you, and your loved ones.

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This article was revised on 4/10/24.

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