15 Ways to Prepare Family and Friends for Your Death
Knowing your time on this Earth is coming to an end is a hard reality to grasp. But helping your family and loved ones accept and anticipate your passing in advance can be a blessing to them—and to you. There are two ways to prepare them, emotionally and practically.
6 ways to emotionally prepare your loved ones:
Acknowledge the people who count most in your life
Re-affirm your love and gratitude with them now. Share memories together that are special to both of you. This is a gift to leave them when you’re gone.
Take a review of your life
Look back at your achievements, failures, treasured moments, regrets and choices. Discuss them with loved ones. Look at your life’s events now with new eyes to see how each step navigated you through life and what you learned along the way. This can help you find fulfillment and peace as you prepare for death.
Create an ethical will
An ethical will is a letter that outlines your legacy for those you leave behind. It can include your dreams, goals, key memories, life lessons, and shared wisdom you’ve acquired throughout your life to pass on to loved ones.
Apologize to those you regret hurting
This can be an important part of the healing process in your end journey. It can also help others heal who’ve been hurt by you. This is another gift to leave behind for those you care about.
Forgive those who love you if they’ve hurt you
Not all may be deserving of your forgiveness, but letting go of hate can help you find peace. Share with them how they hurt you and why you are willing to let it go now. They may also be regretful and seeking forgiveness themselves.
Take time to say goodbye
Having time with our loved ones before we pass on is truly a blessing. Those who die unexpectedly don’t have this luxury of time. So, take the moments to say goodbye to those you care about. It will help you—and them—move on without regrets.
9 ways to practically prepare your loved ones:
Create a will
This allows you to decide what property or monies to divide up among your designated beneficiaries. You can also name a guardian for any of your minor children.
Create a living will
A living will is a different kind of will. This is an advance directive regarding healthcare and puts in place your wishes for any life-saving medical treatment should you be unable to communicate your decisions.
Buy life insurance
It’s a good idea to purchase enough insurance to take care of any expenses after your passing such as mortgage, unpaid bills, and any future education or living costs of your beneficiaries. If you’re employed, check to see if you’re eligible to receive any life insurance benefits your employer may offer.
Create a health care power of attorney
This enables you to authorize a person of choice to make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you’re incapacitated.
Pre-plan your funeral arrangements
You can pre-pay for your funeral now and take advantage of locking into current rates. Pre-planning a funeral allows your family to focus on healing and coming together without the added pressure of having to make the various decisions concerning funeral services and burial.
Compile important documents
Create a folder of important documents. This may include information such as life insurance, estate planning, mortgage, employer contact, bank accounts, safe combination, social security card, and more.
Create a digital estate plan
This plan simply outlines your digital assets and how to manage them after death. The term digital legacy is a recent one that has become a key part of estate planning. Many of us have multiple digital accounts and automatic payment plans set up online, and it’s a good idea to think about how to pass on, preserve, or cancel these accounts after death.
Create a list of contacts
Put together a list of close friends and family and their contact information for your loved ones to contact upon your passing. This can be a gentler way for them to find out rather than seeing it posted on social media.
Decide if you want to be an organ donor
It’s easy to select being an organ donor on your driver’s license or you can make your family aware of your wishes to do this.
Once these things are in place, it’s important to discuss your decisions and wishes with your family. It can be difficult to have a pre-planning talk but ultimately will provide both you and your family peace of mind. For more pre-need information now please call us 215-927-5800 to speak with one of our licensed funeral directors today.