We had a death in the family last year that came as a shock. My uncle was pretty young when he passed away, and nobody realized that he was sick. And, unfortunately, things were made more stressful and upsetting because my uncle hadn’t really made any preparations for his passing. That got me thinking about my own life and what would happen if I were to pass away suddenly. I’m still a student, obviously, but pretty soon I’ll have a job and maybe a significant other. And I already have loans and other things that could make things legally complicated if I die. I haven’t told anyone whether I want to get cremated or buried, and I don’t really know who to tell. Experts, what kind of preparations should I make in order to spare my family unnecessary stress if I die?
Your thoughts for your family are commendable. While we certainly hope that you have a long and happy life ahead of you, it’s never a bad idea to consider what the consequences of one’s own death would be. You shouldn’t have too much to handle right now, but the tragic situation your family was recently in is a good reminder that you should do what you can and keep up with your changing life situation by updating your preparations.
As a young student, you probably don’t need to be putting too much cash into preparations for your own death. But you can and should mention your preference for services, if you have them. That can mean a serious conversation if you want it to, or you can simply mention your preferences to your family and trust that they’ll follow your wishes.
As you get older, you’ll find that your responsibilities grow–and that will mean that you’ll need to make more preparations for your passing. When you have a partner, spouse, or family that depends on your income, you’ll want to consider life insurance, which will pay out in the event of your death in order to replace lost income, help with funeral costs, and otherwise support your loved ones.
You’ll also want to work with an attorney to develop a will. Estates without wills can be messy things, and you want your assets to go to the right places and to the right people. So make sure that you create a will and keep it updated. You can do that early in your career if you’d like, and you should certainly do so when you have a spouse, partner, or children. Update your will regularly, particularly after big life events like the birth of a child.
In the event that you know your risk of death is increasing, you should consider making more extensive arrangements. Professionals that provide cremation services in Texas say it is not unusual for people to plan and pre-pay for their own funeral services, cremation services, burial plots, and other end-of-life essentials. Doing this is an enormous help to families, who would otherwise have to handle these responsibilities themselves during a stressful and emotional time.
Of course, you can’t spend all of your time dwelling on death. Life is for living, after all. But experts say that we should talk about death at least a little more–rather than being taboo, death should be a subject that is spoken of openly and prepared for intelligently. By making sensible preparations at sensible times during your life, you’ll be able to worry less about the impact of that inevitable eventuality. And that, hopefully, will only help you enjoy life even more.
“True friends are always together in spirit.” – L. M. Montgomery