Inevitably, the conclusion of our lives is something we will all face. Although it might be a disconcerting subject, it holds significance to construct a comprehensive arrangement to alleviate the burdens on those dear to us. Here, we present four crucial components to contemplate when formulating your end-of-life strategy.
Arrangements for Commemoration
Navigating the commemoration process can be an overwhelming endeavor for grieving loved ones. By pre-arranging your commemorative affairs, you can ensure your last desires are honored, allowing your loved ones ample time to celebrate the life you led. Research conducted by the National Funeral Directors Association indicates that while 62.5% of individuals recognize the importance of conveying their commemorative intentions and requests to their families, merely 21.4% have taken the initiative to do so. Engaging in pre-arrangements for your commemoration can significantly alleviate the emotional and financial burdens on your family.
As the intricacies of our lives grow with age, we often rely on professionals like doctors, lawyers, accountants, and financial advisors. It's vital to ensure your family is acquainted with these professionals and knows how to reach them. Consider creating a digital or physical document containing their names, roles, contact details, and pertinent information about your association. Initiate a conversation with these professional contacts about the posthumous scenario and introduce them to your family.
Organizing Financial Documents and Personal Information
Upon your passing, the task of gathering and accounting for assets, liabilities, and insurance policies can be arduous for your loved ones. Simplify this process by compiling an extensive inventory of your accounts, encompassing the type of account, policy or account number, estimated value, and any stipulations. Also, communicate the whereabouts of original documents and provide instructions on reaching account custodians, insurance firms, banks, etc.
- Insurance policies (home, auto, umbrella, life, long-term care)
- Tax returns
- Non-retirement investments (individual, joint, trusts)
- Retirement funds (IRAs, employer plans, pensions)
- Banking accounts (checking, savings, safe deposit boxes)
- Outstanding debts and commitments (mortgage, car, other loans)
A tip: Given that probate procedures often extend 6-12 months, reassess and update beneficiary designations on your accounts as needed. In many instances, accounts with designated beneficiaries sidestep probate procedures entirely.
Chances are that many of us harbor a discreet collection of passwords containing access to personal and financial accounts. Despite 59% of individuals resorting to the same password for multiple accounts, your family may not be privy to this information—some accounts might even elude their awareness.
Furthermore, consider designating a legacy contact for personal and social media accounts. This provision would enable your loved ones to manage and memorialize these accounts, ensuring the capture of any commemorative messages.
Crafting a Last Will and Expressing Wishes
Sustaining an updated last will and testament is pivotal to the execution of your desires posthumously. Despite the majority acknowledging the significance of a will, only one-third have actually enacted one, as per surveys. An up-to-date will, alongside any final written directives, can offer your executor, family, and involved parties a lucid comprehension of your intentions—thus mitigating potential conflicts among your loved ones.
While discussions regarding end-of-life planning may be challenging, dedicating time to formulate a comprehensive strategy can furnish solace and lighten the burden on your family during this demanding juncture. Should you require guidance or support in shaping your end-of-life plan, feel free to reach out to us for assistance.
Investment advice offered through Stratos Wealth Advisors, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor. Stratos Wealth Advisors, LLC and Flagship Financial Advisors are separate entities. Please remember that past performance is no guarantee of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by Flagship Financial Advisors, or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this commentary will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this commentary serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from Flagship Financial Advisors.