Isn’t it ironic that after 8 years of putting out my newsletter and talking to people about the importance of advance care planning, we are faced with a healthcare challenge of monumental proportion? One that emphasizes end of life plan reasons but, equally if not more importantly advance care planning, in many ways.
As I sit down to write my 100th newsletter, the current COVID-19 pandemic is sweeping the world and there is a special urgency to do advance care planning; by having the conversation, identifying someone to speak for you, and completing an advance directive.
Every day, there are new articles, by people who have never addressed the subject before, touting the importance of doing an advance directive and doing it NOW!
I receive calls from reporters asking for clarifications and quotes about how to make the process work. The momentum is building and hopefully people will take heed to the warning to have their conversations and complete their directives. This would be wonderful as it would be great to have something positive come out of this pandemic.
COVID-19 is a New Call to Action!
Your help is needed to continue to move the bar. If you’ve done your directive already, take a look at it and see if it is still current and meets your needs in this day and age. Update as necessary. Make certain the right people have a copy.
If you haven’t gotten there yet, now is a great time as the resources to plan a funeral, create a Last Will or Living Trust, and advance care planning, are available to make it easy for you to act.
If you still need help, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me. My contact information is below. Talk to your friends and loved ones. You know, those people whom you have mentioned it to before but who haven’t moved forward to do their plan.
Bug them, emphasize its importance. Remind them of the adage:
Failing to Plan – Is Planning to Fail!
They need this for themselves as well as their families. Equally as important, are the healthcare workers who are doing such a Herculean effort during these trying times. Make sure that they have access to people’s advance directives. This will allow them to be guided by the goals and preferences of their patients and not guessing what the best treatment course for a particular individual might be.
I have neighbors who have been very clear as to their plans. They are sheltering in place because of their ages and their medical conditions. They have made it very clear that they will not go to the hospital if they should come down with the COVID-19 virus. They feel strongly that they are at that point in their lives that they do not wish to go on the ventilator or receive aggressive care during their end of life stages. If they can survive the virus from home, great. If not, it was meant to be.
Now, let me be clear, I am not suggesting that other people should take this stance. We all need and deserve to make our own decisions whatever may be best for each of us individually. Thus, the advance directive is a critically necessary important part of your end of life planning and funeral estate planning!! Remember, it is still critically important to:
Most of us have heard the old adage; “the two certainties in life are death and taxes“. As a result of this statement, National Healthcare Decisions Day comes every year on April 16th, the day after taxes. The goal is to attempt to bring these two matters together.
Jane Markley tells her clients; “Most of us dutifully complete our taxes every year. So why not also make time to review your end of life plans and advance directives as well?” Truth be told, completing your plans for death requires much less time and effort than completing your taxes. Furthermore, completing your death matters only needs to be done once, whereas taxes must be completed each and every year.
It’s NEVER Too Soon
For those of you who haven’t had “the end of life conversation”, and/or documented your healthcare wishes and other final plans and preferences, please remember this all-important statement: It’s only too soon…until it is too late.”
When it comes to death and taxes, it is very easy to find reasons to procrastinate and postpone these matters. However, please let us help you preplan and “give the gift of love” to your family and friends.
Don’t wait for the crisis. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Don’t leave your loves ones in a difficult situation. Don’t wait until it’s to late to learn how to prepay funeral expenses. Let us help you make this difficult situation a little easier. Let us help you have “the conversation” now, plan and prepare in advance today!
Your First Step is EASY
A great way to start is to click here and access our free Family Record Guide. You won’t regret it, your loved ones will thank you, and you will leave a legacy of love!
Jennifer Brokaw, MD is an Emergency Department physician, and the daughter of commentator Tom Brokaw. She is another excellent specialist who emphasizes the importance and value of advance care planning.
Although most people don’t like to talk about death and dying, the harsh reality is death is something we cannot avoid, postpone, or predict. In fact, Dr. Brokaw believes that in order to live your best life, you need to think and talk about death.
MUST-SEE Video – How to Talk to Your Doctor About Death
In this extremely informative and educational video, Dr. Jennifer Brokaw opens up about the uncomfortable but vital conversations we should all have with our doctors, our families, and ourselves – well before we near our end of life.
As acceptance of end-of-life planning grows in the U.S., new concerns are emerging about how well patients and their doctors understand the forms they are signing about the care they want in their final days.
In September, the Institute of Medicine’s “Dying in America” report called for a national effort to improve medical and social services for end-of-life care, both to improve quality of life and to help reduce the outsize costs of unwanted care at the end of life.
Some health plans are reimbursing doctors who help with advance care planning, and the federal government is weighing doing the same for doctors who talk to Medicare patients about options. A growing number of states are starting programs known as Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment, or Polst, a form offered to patients who might die within a year so they can document their wishes in a medical record, signed by the doctor.
As I am preparing this newsletter, I am awaiting a call from a longtime colleague with the knowledge that it will be the last time we have a chance to talk. Recently diagnosed with multiple brain tumors that are inoperable she has chosen to let her life run its course and to enjoy what quality time she can for as long as the tumors allow. Tragic, sad, emotional; you bet, but not a failure, as far as we can tell, on anyone’s part. Remember I said before, death is not an option. Fortunately, her healthcare providers understand this type of terminally ill planning.
In this day and age so many healthcare providers feel like they have failed if they are unable to cure their patients. They frequently continue to offer alternative treatments when they know that the chances of doing anything truly helpful are miniscule. They talk about end of life planning matters extending life, but not about the quality of that life. They are also confronted by patients and/or loved ones who want “everything” done. They offer treatments that they themselves would not take were they in the same condition. The healthcare professionals’ role in life has always been to make people better, to cure them, and when they can’t they feel inadequate or like they have failed so they keep trying even as hope wanes. It is a reasonable response considering their training focuses on the cure. But, death is just a part of life and it is sometimes best to accept.
As you might guess, the call came before I had finished this. I was floored. In fact my friend was ecstatic when I spoke with her. Hard to believe isn’t it? She kept telling me how wonderful it is to have time to talk with people who love her and who share with her what a difference she has made in their lives. She said that this truly has been the best experience of her life and she is so pleased that her life will be ending this way because she never really thought that she had made a difference in anyone’s life.
She’s living fully in the moment. She is making plans for the “celebration” of her end of life, when she is gone and where to scatter her ashes. And given the advent of the Internet and advanced technology tools today, there are many new memorial technology options for cremations. She has made peace with what is happening to her and is embracing the experience better than anyone I have ever met. Surely there are down times but to everyone with whom I have spoken who has spoken with her they all are getting the same vibe.
Death for her is not a failure but truly is an experience she is cherishing. Talk about acceptance! And yes, she has her advance directives in order.
The bigger question is when will you: Have ‘The Conversation’AndGive ‘The Gift’
When my grandmother passed away, my mother was named as executor of her funeral estate planning and was left with a house full of memories and possessions to distribute. After she and her siblings divided those belongings that they wanted, there were still many items left. My mother didn’t feel right selling these things, so she donated everything, in order to help others in need.
Clothing and Shoes
Clothing items can be donated to second-hand stores, homeless shelters, or battered women’s shelters. There are often used clothing drives in the fall and winter, and coats, gloves/mittens, scarves and boots are especially important donations during this time.
If these items are in good condition, homeless shelters will put them to use, especially in the winter months. Additionally, hospices can always use quality donations in order to make their patients as comfortable as possible in their final days.
Books, Videos and CDs
With budget cuts, many schools and libraries are unable to buy new materials as often as they would like, which negatively impacts their students and patrons. By donating to these establishments, you are helping your community and aiding in the education of others.
Dishes, Silverware, and Food-Related Utensils
Homeless shelters that cater to families are often divided into small apartments, complete with kitchens. By donating to these organizations, you can help a family sit down to a home cooked meal, thus providing stability during a difficult time.
Knick-Knacks, Artwork, and the Like
These are often tricky to donate, as many are personal mementos or are considered clutter by others. Residents of nursing homes, and those suffering from a terminal illness, can often live in drab surroundings. Therefore, items such as these can brighten their rooms and bring smiles to their faces.
Craig’s List is a great place to find people in need of free furniture. When posting, be sure to include a photo, and request that prospective owners pick up the furniture. Be cautious when using sites such as these, though, and use common sense when allowing strangers into your home.
Used Medical Equipment
It is not uncommon to have used medical equipment left after a loved one’s death, especially in the case of a prolonged illness or severe injury. When left with a wheelchair, walker, shower chair, or other equipment, find an area hospice in need of your items. These are often nonprofit, and can always use quality donations.
The death of a loved one can be a devastating time. The last thing you want to worry about is what to do with their possessions once they are gone.
However, with a little thought and end of life planning, you can make this a relatively painless process, and one that can be handled quickly and efficiently, so you can begin to move past your tragedy and start the grief and loss and healing process.
Like so many families, when we suffered the loss of my mother last year we faced the difficult decision of what to do next. Because we were never willing to accept this as a possible outcome, nor did we think about planning in advance for this incomprehensible loss, we had no idea where to begin or who we could turn to.
Most people tend to overlook one of the greatest gifts you will give your family, which is properly preparing them for the inevitable. At best, you might have started your estate planning process by creating and choosing a Last Will or Living Trust.
However, the harsh reality is that approximately over 70% of Americans have no form of estate plan. So by having a will or Trust, you have clearly taken a step in the right direction toward preplanning your future financial wishes. The problem is, this form of planning fails to accomplish the most important task, which is addressing your family’s immediate concerns.
The person, or in most cases people, responsible for taking care of your final arrangements are usually forced to make extremely important decisions, as well as major financial purchases, within a small time frame…usually within approximately 48 hours after your death. Of course, you cannot expect to fully alleviate the emotional and financial stresses of your loved ones during such a difficult time, but you can help them tremendously by having a plan that outlines your funeral wishes.
Most financial professionals are realizing that an integral part of a sound financial and estate plan is taking care of your funeral services ahead of time. To preplan a funeral gives you the ability to choose your method of disposition, the exact type of services you want, and allows your family to focus more on things such as grieving and recovery. In addition, preplanning is also a good thing for you because it allows you to make extremely important decisions through a calm and clear thought process. Emotionally, it is much more likely that you will create a more rational and logical end of life plan.
When preplanning your funeral, here are several general guidelines to begin your preplanning process:
* Visit various funeral homes and interview multiple funeral directors
* Choose a funeral home and director where you think your family would be most comfortable
* Consider bringing family members with you during this selection process
* Be aware and informed of bereavement entitlements such as veterans, unions, fraternities, etc.
* Consider religious and moral convictions, and discuss them with your family
* Determine your method of disposition (burial, cemetery, entombment, cremation, etc.)
* Plan your ceremony considering things like casket viewing, religious aspects, who should be included, etc.
* Itemize your costs
* The Federal Trade Commission offers a free funeral planning guide titled “Caskets and Burial Vaults” (202-326-2222) which has made it easier for consumers to comparison shop.
* The FTC Funeral Rule requires funeral directors to give pricing information over the phone, as well as provide you with a readily available General Price List if you visit them in person. This FTC Funeral Rule also allows you to purchase caskets, which are the single largest funeral expense, from outside vendors without the threat of a carrying charge.
What About Paying For Funeral Expenses In Advance?
Although planning your funeral arrangements in advance may help alleviate many of the details, prepaying (also known as prearranging or a Pre Need Plan) for your funeral services is a way of taking care of the actual expenses.
Prepaying your funeral or cremation is one of the fastest growing, and most appreciated and accepted aspects of funeral planning. Similar to preplanning your funeral, paying your funeral expenses in advance is also becoming widely accepted by many financial professionals as a solid piece of a sound financial and estate plan.
When prepaying your funeral plan, the most common and widely used strategies are savings and life insurance, mainly because they tend to be deemed the most reliable and readily available. However, there are several other strategies to consider when prepaying your funeral costs or expenses:
Although many people choose to set aside savings to pay for funeral expenses, there are several reasons this does not always end up working out as originally planned. First, the savings can be depleted based on unexpected financial circumstances, such as health or financial issues. Second, these funds are not always readily available and liquid upon death due to the challenges and restrictions often found in estate planning. Third, the funds set aside can often be insufficient due to inflation and the rising cost of funeral expenses. Finally, it should be noted that savings are included in a part of one’s estate, and, thus, the taxable consequences can often come into play.
Term Life Insurance is widely considered to be a flexible, simple, and affordable way to pay for your final funeral expenses. Although Term Life Insurance has a set term, or set number of years, it also has multiple uses in prepaying for your funeral. Because upon your death it becomes a liquid asset that is usually not part of your estate, it can be used for many things such as funeral, burial, cremation, liquidity, and many other things, including debts or obligations.
In addition, there are some types of life insurance that allow the funds contributed to these policies (either in lump sum, monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually) to grow and accumulate as a cash value that can be accessed if necessary. Therefore, these policies can not only be used for funeral expenses, but also for other financial planning options that may arise such as financial emergencies, college, etc.
Funeral insurance is an insurance policy which is specifically designed to cover any costs or expenses which are directly related to your funeral. If you purchase one of these policies, one of the options you have is to determine exactly which funeral costs or expenses are to be covered, such as flowers, burial plot, grave marker, and much more.
Another option you have is for the policy to be paid out in a single lump-sum, which can be used to cover your pre-determined costs or expenses, or simply help your loved ones financially as they plan for you. There are many insurance companies that offer funeral insurance packages, and certain funeral homes or funeral companies also offer policies.
Pre-Need Trust Agreements
Another alternative to prepaying your funeral is to consider a Pre-Need Trust Agreement to pay for your costs or expenses. Generally speaking, these Trust accounts are typically funded with monthly payments that are invested in a fund which is designed to grow over time. Although a Trust account is designed to provide the potential for protection against inflation, it is not guaranteed to do so.
Take the First Step Today
In summary, although nobody likes to think or talk about dying, it is one of the facts of life we all must eventually face. If you are trying to build a successful financial plan, the only way you can be sure your plan works smoothly and efficiently is to be proactive about your planning process. This is particularly true and necessary when creating a proper plan of succession, which I firmly believe should include an end-of-life plan.
After losing a close loved one back in 2008, I am constantly trying to find ways I can help both families and Funeral Directors find new ways to make the funeral planning process easier. After working closely and researching extensively, I have learned a lot about how to plan a funeral and end of life planning industries.
However, since I am not a licensed Funeral Director, I have also focused on learning how challenging and meaningful of a role a Funeral Directors can play in a families life, and therefore, I have gained a tremendous amount of well-deserved respect and appreciation for a Funeral Director’s selfless contribution to this valued public service.
So given the importance and sensitivity of this matter, I am not only constantly trying to learn more each day, but also searching for any possible new and innovative ways to help add value to this industry.
When I look back on my personal experience, below are some of the key things I truly believe would have helped my family as we worked through the many funeral planning challenges:
1. I believe it would be helpful if the Funeral Director could give a brief history about their Funeral Home, Cemetery, as well as their personal background and experience.
This would help families learn more about choosing a funeral home or cemetery, funeral director, and feel more comfortable about the qualifications, experience, and credibility of who they are dealing with.
2. I think it could be helpful if a Funeral Directors would ask if anyone involved has any history or experience with planning a funeral.
This would help the Funeral Director and the family, since this lets the Funeral Director know if they need to begin slowly, starting with the basics, or whether things could be a little easier and streamlined based on any past experience.
3. Before the Funeral Director begins to review the basic outline of the funeral planning process, it would be helpful if they ask the family if they have any important questions on their mind that they feel like they need to find answers.
This allows the family members to ask about things that might be of concern, time-sensitive, or important to know regardless of the planning process.
4. The Funeral Director could explain the general outline of what the funeral planning process involves and what they will review and work on together. Ideally, this overall outline would be great to have in writing, so they can see it, read it, plan ahead, and follow along step-by-step.
This helps the families to get an idea of what to expect, and also begin thinking about the many funeral planning challenges.
5. The Funeral Director could tell the family members to feel free to interrupt him/her at any time, and ask any questions that come to mind, no matter how basic or uncomfortable they might feel.
This helps families feel like it is OK to ask questions, since from my personal experience, I was very reluctant to ask things that I now wish I had.
6. After the funeral planning process, the Funeral Director could find a way to help families learn about some of the new and popular memorial technology tools, resources, services, and funeral home services. In fact, I would even recommend offering families a printed list of these options so you can talk about them with the families, or simply let them research these things on their own to find out more.
Why not let every family know about all of these options? If families don’t choose to add these to their funeral or memorial planning, they are still better off from knowing these options were available. And if families do find these options to helpful tools that can allow them to better heal, remember, and pay a special tribute to a loved one, everyone wins!
7. Last, I would suggest Funeral Directors consider providing every family with helpful details, such as these below, at the end of their funeral planning discussion:
– Key things to consider when planning a memorial service
– Several phone numbers to contact for any questions or concerns, 24/7
– Grief support information, grief books, and local grief support
– Information on how to give a eulogy, funeral etiquette, how to write an obituary, and other common families needs
– Contact information on Charitable Organizations, and ways to help families donate funds “in lieu of funeral flowers”
– Key reasons and benefits to consider an End of Life Plan, and where they can go to learn more
– Names and contact information for people who you recommend that would be willing to help offer free advice for any financial planning matters, such as funeral estate planning, tax planning, wealth management, etc.
Again, these are just some thoughts I had after looking back on my personal experience, as well as some of the details I have found that most families are searching for – and today this is being done largely on the Internet.
I truly hope this helps both families and Funeral Directors, as I continue my quest to make this difficult process easier!
No matter what we believe, what we have or have not studied, how young or how old we are, the end result of life is death. All of us are going to die. All of us will have the same journey to reach a new level of being. Therefore, it would be a great opportunity for compassion to understand those around the world, no matter what color, what country, or what religion, to realize that we are the same – and we are going to do the same thing as every other. Yes, unfortunately we will all die some day.
How will that affect what I think, how I treat others? What if someone wants a cremation rather than a funeral? Can I accept that concept? (For example, cremation is the norm, not the exception, in Asian countries.) How do I feel about the burial of a body within twenty-four hours, with no cremation or embalming? How do I feel about some religions that do not allow women to come to the funeral of a man?
There are as many different customs and rituals to plan a funeral as there are different religious belief systems. Many times I hear of funeral directors that are doing amazing things to help their families that have a different funeral ritual than what many in America have called “the traditional” memorial service. It would be impossible to learn all the rituals, but that may not be important. Perhaps the bigger question is have you as a funeral director thought of your own comfort level to the rituals common in other cultures or belief systems? Ask yourself if you are opened minded enough to foster different services, and to be at ease during those services.
To help ponder these end of life planning matters here are a few questions and exercises to help you discover your comfort level.
1. When is the last time you had a service in your funeral home that was different than you traditionally hold? For example, did you serve a family that was Hindu but you are traditionally a Christian firm? How did that service make you feel? Comfortable? Out of place? Wishing it was over quickly?
2. When you are presented with something that is out of your comfort zone how do you cope with the situation? Do you have systems in place to help you process the new information?
3. What resources do you have in your community to help you learn about other cultures and their burial practices? Would you be willing to have someone from a different culture come and teach you and those you work with about their rituals and needs?
4. How can you expand your services to include “new” forms of service to families you have not ministered to before?
5. Can you discuss with friends and colleagues what they have done to incorporate the needs of other cultures? Can you be open and dialogue about how comfortable/uncomfortable you can be with opening your business and your psyche to something different?
Funeral Service is a great profession that gives service to people in need. If you can find great compassion for that ritual you do not know about, or agree with, you will not only be assisting your families, but yourself. Because, after all, we are all going to do the same thing –die, right? It is the people left on earth who make it look like we are not doing the same thing…but we are!
In today’s world, we need to find our commonness, that which makes us the same, rather than focus on differences. You are in a rare business to recognize you are the one that can create harmony and understanding across cultures. You, of all people, know what we are like in death, and that we all face it alike, and all those left behind feel the same grief and loss.
No one wants to talk about death or dying. Nor do they want to think about how to plan a funeral for someone they love, especially if they have not passed. Although extremely difficult, planning the funeral arrangements of a loved one who has been diagnosed as terminally ill is one of the best decisions you can make. However, we strongly encourage you to seek professional help!
When you combine the death of someone you care for with wanting to make the right end of life decisions, especially given the fact that you have a limited amount of time to attend to all the details, it usually leaves many families feeling overwhelmed.
Our Funeral Advisors, Family Counselors, and Funeral Directors can help answer some of the more common, and more difficult, questions that people have about many of the funeral planning challenges that may lie ahead. They can also help guide you to become empowered by providing you with the information and resources you need – and deserve – to know.
Facing a terminal illness and loss is hard enough to deal with, but the end of life planning shouldn’t be. At your time of need, our nationwide network of pre-screened Funeral Advisors/Directors/Counselors are here to both educate and assist you in making the best possible decisions.
I would like to ask you to please spend some time reading this personal story of mine. I am FULLY confident that you will find something in this story, some special message, that will make your life better, and end up being worth a few minutes of your time.
When it comes to financial planning, I will spare you the boring details about the importance of having a plan in place for the unexpected, using products and strategies like Umbrealla Policies, Life Insurance, Wills, Trusts, Estate Planning, Disability Insurance, Long-Term Care Insurance. etc.
In the past I might have boasted about how well-versed and experienced I was with helping my clients design and create strategies to protect my clients, and my own family, against the unexpected. But the truth is, my life has been forever changed since I lost my mother on Thanksgiving Day of 2008.
Since nobody in my family had ever really dealt with losing a “close” family member before, we had no idea what to expect. In fact, we didn’t know and we didn’t plan for this outcome in any way, simply because we never once thought about – or talked about = being in that situation.
Once my mother became sick, the thought never crossed our minds to talk about what would happen “afterwards”. Truthfully, in those situations, talking about someone’s death is an unspoken, unlikely, and unacceptable outcome that never crossed your mind. All you can think about, and all you can talk about, is how they are going to be ok. They will make it. Stay strong. You have loving family, friends, and medical support – all of which will help you get through this.
After she passed, I can vividly remember that feeling of being so confused, uncertain, and disappointed. Why? Because I didn’t know what to do next, or who to turn to. I also remember realizing that I didn’t know the any of the details regarding what my mother would have really wanted with regards to her end of life plans and preferences. Why? Because I did not have the courage to ask while she was still alive and healthy. Once she back sick, it was simply never the right time to discuss death or dying.
Even after almost 5 years now, I still don’t feel comfortable talking about it. But what I do feel comfortable talking about is what happened after.
What Happens After a Loved One Passes?
My next memory is, right about the time the enormity of the situation was just starting to sink in, we were sitting in a local Funeral Home, surrounded by various types of caskets and cremation urns, reviewing a two-sided legal page (General Price List) which is filled with countless options on how to plan a funeral – all of which probably add up to well over $200,000.
Now please keep in mind that, at that time, the last thing in the world any of us wanted to talk about or think about was planning a funeral and memorial service, much less having to make decisions regarding any of the financial aspects.
Things I Bet You Never Thought About…
Here is a list of some other funeral planning challenges we faced that. Keep in mind that, like our family, all of these decisions are usually made within a period of a few days, and with little or no education or professional guidance:
How do we determine which Funeral Home, Cemetery, or Funeral Director?
How do we arrange and notify family members and/or loved ones who live out of town? Who contacts who?
How do we determine exactly what type of memorial service is most appropriate? Do you celebrate a life? Do you mourn?
Knowing whether there was a preference to be cremated or buried?
Choosing among many different types of caskets or urns?
Where should the final resting place be for the cremated remains?
How should our plans and preferences work with regards to your religion? Which Church? Which Priest?
Who should be invited, and how do you locate all their names and numbers?
Who will pay for these funeral expenses, and how will this be paid for?
Who will give a eulogy at the memorial service? Who will do a reading?
What is funeral etiquette with regards to dress, time, date, day?
Will there be a gathering after the memorial service? If so, who should be invited?
How do you place an obituary? What should it say? Who should handle this?
Choosing among pictures, funeral music, videos, and much, much more…
It is Time For Change…
They say “everything happens for a reason“. Well, even though I believe there is never a valid “reason” to lose a loved one, I can say that this experience has opened my eyes to a lot of things that have previously gone unnoticed. And as time passes, the one thing in particular that is becoming crystal clear is the fact people and families need to prepare their end of life plans and preferences in advance.
In all my years of financial education and training, I have never once heard someone so much as talk about how to help the families we serve by encouraging them to create an end of life plan.
Well my friends, it is time for change. Maybe losing my mother is the “reason” and inspiration behind my serious movement to help families make a difficult situation easier.
So from this day forward, I will be seeking the help the finest associations, organizations, and people in the funeral and financial planning industries. Along with their help, I am going to be speaking loudly, boldly, and clearly, about the need for change when it comes to financial, retirement, and estate planning. There is a missing piece to the financial puzzle that needs to be fixed, which is helping families Create an End of Life Celebration Plan.
How to Create Your End of Life Celebration Plan…
Below is a link to four guides I have put together that will help you learn more about how to create your End of Life Celebration Plan:
In the financial planning industry, it is very rare that a financial advisor can use the word “guarantee“. And usually the word “guarantee” needs to be accompanied by a prospectus and/or extensive legal disclaimers, documents, and details.
However, when you look at this from a real-life experience like I now can, financial advisors actually have something that we can guarantee every client – which is the fact that some day you will die. Regrettably, this may happen much sooner than anyone could ever imagine or plan. But regardless of the timing, some day your life will end. So begins the two all-important questions…
We All Have Two Choices…
1. Continue to Do Nothing
Do not plan for this guaranteed outcome in any way. After reading this article, you are well aware of the fact that you will be leaving your family behind to unnecessarily suffer through a tremendous amount of difficult emotional and financial decisions, during an extremely difficult time, in addition to coping with their grief and loss over your death.
2. Pre-arrange and/or Pre-Pay Today…
Set aside the time, put in the effort, and create your End of Life Celebration plan that you would want – and that your family deserves. If you are ready to take this step, here are some easy options:
My passion is to take this personal experience, learn from it, and turn it into a positive experience through helping other families make a difficult situation easier. Helping families become more educated, empowered, and most importantly, more prepared. My hope and prayer is that I can make my mother very proud one day. I pray that some day she looks down and sees that her never-ending selfless love and legacy will live forever, and that her death has become an inspiration to help others.
Preplanning is Not Fun or Easy…
Like many of the best things in life, nothing good comes easy. So as you would expect, talking about. thinking about, and planning about death and dying is not fun. However, a legendary football coach Vince Lombardi once said;
“The difference between failure and success is largely determined by the
amount of time and preparation put into planning for the future.”
A Gift You Give – and Receive…
After all, what better gift can you leave your family than showing them that you selflessly made time, took that extra step, and sacrificed a small part of your life to show how much you love them. Imagine knowing that one of the last memories you leave behind is that your family knew that you did everything possible to make their lives better. What memory could be better?
After sharing my own personal experience, I hope you can see that this kind of unselfish love actually provides you a huge gift too, and that gift is called peace of mind.