End-of-life management is necessary to prepare you and your family for the expected and the unexpected. Decisions made during a crisis are rarely the most effectual, cost-effective, or informed. Further, if you wait until an illness or accident to start planning, you or the person you’re helping may not be able to communicate his or her preferences or financial and medical information, and you or someone else will have to make the decisions for him or her.
Select the stage that relates closely to where you are in life and learn how planning ahead can help you and your loved ones.
Single people often think they don’t need to plan ahead and often they’re right. But if you have people who depend on you, are at risk for any serious medical conditions, or don’t want to burden anyone with your final expenses, you should consider planning ahead.
I’m a young adult who’s married
When you’re just starting out, planning ahead is typically less time consuming and less expensive. If something was to happened to you or your spouse, you want to make sure that in either case both of you are well taken care of. Drafting a proper will assures that your spouse will have enough to repay significant debts, such as a mortgage, credit card balances, student loans, and the like.
I’m a young adult who’s married with children
For parents of young children, planning ahead is generally a necessity. If one parent were to die having a solid end-of-life plan, including a life insurance plan may help the survivor maintain the family’s quality of life.
I’m a single parent
Single parents often bear dual burdens – the sole source of income and the responsibility for the care and guidance of the children. Planning ahead can provide support in the event a family’s sole caretaker passes away.
I’m an empty nester and/or retiree
Even if your children are financially independent, planning ahead if you still haven’t done so is necessary. A widow or widower may need to pay off a mortgage and other debts. You should have a solid estate planning strategy that’s designed to help grandchildren accomplish important goals such as completing a college education.