By Cindy Cummings
The average cost of a burial in Florida is about $6,500, but expect to pay over $10,700 for a traditional funeral, according to Finder. The uncertainty of how long you will live is one of the biggest challenges you’ll face when planning for the future. However, Robin Stover, attorney for Gulfcoast legal services in St. Petersburg, says, “Amid a pandemic, the future doesn’t feel guaranteed. Making an end-of-life plan is a good step to take.”
According to Stover, more seniors are seeking assistance with “life planning” during the pandemic. In some cases, people don’t have money to leave, but they have a home they want to pass on to their loved ones. Ideally, end-of-life planning brings peace to seniors as it allows them to bestow power to who will best carry out their last wishes. Here are some tips for end-of-life planning.
Planning for the last stages of your life is crucial as it allows you to create a strategy that helps your family and healthcare professionals navigate health conditions that might come up. Therefore, determine your current health conditions and assess your healthcare plan accordingly. Medical experts recommend signing an advance directive, which entails defining your living will and picking your medical proxy.
Under the living will section, you should decide what you want and don’t want medical experts to do if you fall sick. For example, if you don’t want a feeding tube or want an organ donation, doctors will make informed decisions based on your advance directive. Next, choose a medical proxy or someone who will make critical healthcare decisions if you can’t.
In most cases, seniors make burial arrangements with funeral homes to spare loved ones from making tough financial decisions while mourning. However, purchasing a prepaid funeral plan at a funeral home can be costly, and you risk losing your money in case the funeral home closes. Luckily, you can pre-plan your burial without fear of financial loss by investing in a funeral insurance plan.
Many companies provide insurance policies that cater for funeral expenses. While insurers are not equal, all of them guarantee affordable burial insurance for seniors. Additionally, the premium rates don’t change, and the policies last a lifetime.
When taking inventory of your assets, don’t just focus on vehicles, property, and bank accounts only. Take note of items with sentimental value such as jewelry, books, and music collections, and furniture. Once you’ve listed everything, name the people you want to leave some assets to and then sign the list.
If you have young kids, choose someone you trust to be their guardian. You should also name an executor of your will in advance and let them know where you’ve kept the list.
End-of-life planning can be scary and confusing for anyone. However, it gives you peace of mind that your last wishes will be honored. All it takes is signing an advance directive, pre-planning your burial, and listing your assets, and naming an executor.