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End of Life Planning; Think Outside the Box

Planning for your own death?

Do you really need to have a plan? Well, that’s entirely up to you. Only a small percentage of Canadians currently have an end of life plan in place for their survivors; the other 91% depart this life and actually leave all the burdens, hardships and expenses for someone else to worry about.

Death is perhaps life’s greatest certainty; however, it is also the one event that most people are unwilling to comfortably discuss.

The majority of those who attend one of Serenity’s learning events are not aware of the harsh realities that await the survivors if you do not protect them by having an end of life plan in place before you die.

It’s really not over, when you die.

One might think that having a preplanned funeral is the only requirement for protecting your survivors. Although it is vitally important to have everything preplanned and paid for ahead of time – the majority of people who visit our Preplanning Centre have learned that it’s really not over, when you die. Our End of Life Planning Program identifies and provides solutions for the remaining burdens that exist.

Are you ok with that?

It isn’t uncommon to hear people remark that completing their end of life plan “doesn’t need to happen until I retire” or that “my kids will know what to do when I die, I told them all that a few years ago.” If you agree with avoiding or putting off the simplicity of planning for your own death, you may want to reconsider taking care of it now – when you don’t need it, rather than waiting until you do.

Imagine for a moment that we’re seated across from one another and sitting on the table is a crystal ball. With your immediate current state of affairs as they exist right now; if you were told that tomorrow your life on earth will end and that your spouse or children are now faced with all the decision making, responsibilities, legal obligations and expenses – are you ok with that?

You’ve just taken your final breath of life

  • What will your final disposition be: burial or cremation?
  • What will your loved ones and survivors need to memorialize your life; accepting that you are gone from this life and coming to some form of acceptance.
  • Who’s making the decision for the final disposition of your body?
  • Are your final expenses paid for in advance, or will someone else have to pay the funeral home when death occurs and at the future cost?
  • If you didn’t pay for everything in advance; who’s paying for it?

Your last will

  • Who will be responsible for all of the legal affairs when you die?
  • Do you have a Will, Power of Attorney and Personal Directive?
  • Have you appointed an executor and POAs?

Free them from stress and hardship

  • Ensure that the people you’ve designated will not be burdened and stressed out; have your state of affairs established, structured and up to date.
  • Make certain that the person (your executor) will not experience financial hardship while they are administering your affairs.
  • Plan now to ensure that you have structured your finances so that when expenses your executor is obligated to pay are due – the funds will be readily available.

How much of your estate will be lost?

  • Are you aware that at the time of your death you are at risk of losing a good portion of your money due to taxation and legal fees?
  • Did you know there are methods to avoid fees and taxes; methods that do not cost you a dime?
  • Have you asked yourself – why haven’t my advisors or banks told me about such methods?

Having a plan in place for the inevitable is a process that can be easily achieved with the right guidance.