Who Really Needs an End of Life Plan?
See Exactly Why This Makes Sense…From the Heart
The sad truth is that the financial planning industry largely overlooks the fact that creating an End of Life Plan needs to be a part of a sound comprehensive financial plan. To prove my point, as a Financial Advisor for nearly 25 years, I have never been trained or educated on how to help my clients prepare their end of life plans and preferences. Furthermore, I have also never been trained or educated on how to help my clients deal with the funeral planning process after a loved one has passed.
See For Yourself Why This Makes Sense:
The Missing Piece of the Financial Planning Puzzle
The reality is that a client should logically turn to their Financial Advisor for anything that has to do with not only their money, but also the best interests of their family. This involves a detailed review and analysis of things like insurance, investments, estate planning details (How to Choose a Last Will or Living Trust), minimizing or eliminating taxes, college planning, mortgages, and so on.
The key point here is that as Financial Advisors, arguably the most important role we play is helping protect families against unexpected events that can cause major financial or emotional challenges…and possibly irreparable damages or losses.
Most Financial Advisors typically protect their clients by implementing traditional financial products and strategies such as life insurance or creating a Last Will or Living Trust with Estate Attorneys. They also recommend and promote important insurance policies which are designed to protect against specific losses, such as disability insurance, long-term care insurance, annuities, car and home insurance, and many other options. These recommendations can vary, since of course, each family’s situation is usually unique and different.
To be honest, I considered myself to be extremely well-versed in how to protect my clients, as well as my own family, against unexpected events. However, everything changed on Thanksgiving Day of 2008 when I lost a close loved one and had to go through this experience personally.
Very Few Families Know “What to Do Next”
Losing a close loved one is, by far, one the most difficult experiences anyone can face in their lifetime. I remember feeling so disappointed as we went through this experience…thinking that since I was a Financial Advisor, I should know better. However, the enormity of the situation really hit me when I realized that I was never trained or educated on how to plan and prepare my clients for this particular situation. I am almost ashamed to admit, I was totally unprepared.
I can remember looking at my family, and without saying a single word, you could tell we were are searching for the same answers to “what happens next”? Sadly, these are the questions that most families are forced to deal with every day when they lose a loved one, such as:
1. What do we do now?
2. Who can we turn to for credible help and advice?
3. How do we get started?
What Could I Have Done Differently?
As I look back, I remember how comforting and gratifying it was to see our family come together and accomplish so many things in such a short period of time. At the same time, I also remember feeling frustrated because we lacked the knowledge on how to deal with many of these challenges, and we also had not idea where to turn to for the help and answers we needed.
After experiencing all of the emotional ups and downs, the funeral planning challenges, planning all of the memorial service details, and even working out things like; how to write a funeral eulogy, choosing funeral flowers versus donations, and choosing among the many cremation urns, I can honestly tell you that planning a funeral is overwhelming.
May I Offer Some Valuable Advice?
So after all of this, here is what I think so many people need to hear. Consider these facts:
1. There is nothing more difficult than the loss of a loved one
2. Planning a funeral and memorial service is an overwhelming process
3. The large majority of families are uneducated on the many details involved in this process
4. Very few families are left with any end of life plans – telling them “what to do next”
The truth is it really doesn’t have to be this way. Yes, we are talking about death and dying. No, it is not fun, and not something we like to even think about. However, the harsh reality is that some day we will all die. So when you break it down to these simple facts, you are left with two choices:
1. Do nothing – and let your family add insult to injury
2. Plan in advance – and minimize or eliminate some of the burden you will leave behind
What is the Key Message Here?
Again, I fully understand that nobody likes to talk about death, dying, or end of life planning. However, we have to face and accept the fact that not are we going to die some day, but it could happen much sooner than anyone ever expected.
So my sincere hope is that I can encourage anyone who is reading this…every son, daughter, spouse, grandchild, or loved one…to have this discussion with your family. And since nobody knows what the future might bring, have this talk sooner versus later.
There is no such thing as preparing your End of Life Plan too soon. On the contrary, the worst thing you can do is take the attitude of “I don’t need to do this now, that won’t happen to me, or, I can do this later“. As the old adage goes;
“By Failing to Plan…You are Planning to Fail.”
You Can’t Go Wrong:
By creating an end of life plan in advance, here are a few of the meaningful benefits you will experience from this selfless act of love:
1. Peace of mind – You will sleep better at night knowing that you have completed this all-important plan, and that your family and loved ones will be forever grateful. This is the true definition of a win-win situation.
2. You control how you will be remembered – Knowing this will be a time of great loss for your loved ones, you will be remembered for showing how much you cared by sacrificing the time to do something very special, and easing the burden when it is needed the most.
After going through something like this helps you realize that every day is truly a gift. I guess that is exactly why they call it “the present“. So please, take advantage of “the present” you are given today and build a plan that allows your loved ones to celebrate your life, and focus on how grateful they are today…and will be after you are gone…for all of the great memories they were able to share with you.
Get Started Today – Your First Easy Step:
I would like to personally congratulate you, in advance, for taking the first step towards creating a smart End of Life plan for you, your family, and all of your loved ones!
The first step to getting started is clicking on this link below to access our:
(Note: There’s NO COST to download, save, or print these four guides)
Christopher P. Hill, Founder