At Bare, we talk a lot about end of life planning. That's because we want to encourage open and honest conversations about death.
For way too long, we’ve avoided thinking or talking about death, and for many of us that’s because of a fear or anxiety around death.
Part of facing that fear is knowing that death is inevitable, so why shouldn’t we put plans in place and be responsible for our own affairs and farewell?
Creating an end of life plan allows us a voice to go our own way, andempowers our loved ones to make decisions on our behalf that are what we would have wanted. It also ensures your family is taken care of in the event of your passing.
Keep reading to learn more about end of life planning.
What is end of life planning?
End of life planning is the actions we put in place that prepare for our death. Some are more common, such as writing a Will, but some are less known and talked about.
Why should our death be our own responsibility? When a loved one dies, we are filled with grief and are completely emotionally dysregulated. And if that person has died without a Will, or without sharing their funeral wishes, it adds on to the long list of what needs to be done in the event of a death, and makes the lives of the people around them much more stressful.
End of life planning can also include what happens before we die, such as decisions about medical care, and choosing to die at home rather than in hospital.
By planning ahead, we can reduce the stress on our loved ones and make sure they are well looked after in the event of our death.
What do you include in an end of life plan?
An end of life plan isn’t just one formal document, but rather a collection of important documents, plus generally thinking about how you want to be taken care of during the end of your life, and what happens after.
Consider the following documents in your end of life plan:
Advance Care Directive.
An Advance Care Directive is a legal document that outlines your healthcare plan. It should contain all your needs, values and preferences for your future care, as well as appointing a medical decision maker.
It’s important to think about the treatments and care you would like or would refuse if you have a life-threatening illness or injury.
Your medical decision maker will have the legal right to make decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so, so it’s best to choose someone you’re close to so they’ll have your best interests at heart.
Writing a Will.
This is the most common form of end of life planning most of us will do, however the reality is that only 48% of adults have a valid Will in place.
In your Will, you’re able to specify who will inherit any assets you own in the event of your passing. You can also nominate legal guardians for minors, and bequeath any gifts, property or other assets to your beneficiaries.
Having a Will in place ensures that your family and loved ones are taken care of financially when you’re gone, as well as reduces the stress and burden of going through lengthy court proceedings.
Planning your funeral.
It’s important to understand all the available options surrounding funerals and making a decision regarding your farewell before you die.
There are several options for those wanting to plan ahead. Funeral insurance is one, but has many drawbacks and leaves people spending thousands more than necessary. You can outline your final wishes to your loved ones, so they know what kind of service to organise for you, from the attendees to burial or cremation.
And for those wanting to organise and pay for everything before they die, so their loved ones don’t need to worry about the financial burden of a funeral, a Prepaid Funeral is an excellent option. At Bare, our Prepaid Funeral allows you to plan ahead and organise your farewell to be exactly what you want it to be, without passing on the cost to your grieving family.
Storing all your important documents.
Once you have finalised important documents, such as your Will, Advance Care Directive and final wishes, you need to securely store them in a safe place, which needs to be accessible in the event of your death.
The Bare Digital Vault is a great example of how you can store important files and documents. Physical copies are great, but it’s easy to scatter and misplace them. This Vault has military grade security and allows you to store your digital life, from passwords to documents and more.
You can nominate your trusted people, such as your next of kin and executor, to gain access, either immediately or when you pass.
Talk to your loved ones about your end of life plan.
It’s great to be prepared and plan ahead, but what’s the point if you don’t share those plans with your loved ones?
Talking about what to do if you die opens up the conversation about death, meaning we can accept the fact better and reduce some of the fear.
It’s not something your spouse, or your children, or your best friend might want to hear. Who wants to focus on death, when there’s so much living left to do? But by thinking about it now, and telling your loved ones about your end of life plan, it means they’re not left asking unanswered questions when it’s too late.
You might even encourage someone to put together their own plan. And by having these conversations, we can slowly shift the way our society thinks and talks about death. Not only in hushed tones and sadness, but with empowerment knowing everything’s taken care of for when the time comes. Because that’s our only guarantee in this life. That it ends.
If you’re interested in a Bare Prepaid Funeral, you can head here for an instant quote for your area, or give our incredible Prepaid team a call on 1800 202 901.