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How To Legally Prepare For The Passing Of A Loved One

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Death comes like a thief in the night. No one knows when or how a loved one may die. Though the passing of a loved one is never an easy conversation to make, it is essential that you do it. Preparation is the key, and you can do it with Brian Douglas.

Here is how you can legally prepare in advance for the passing of a loved one:

  1.    Make sure all their important documents are safe and in one place.

Some people organize their important paperwork and have a separate file for them. But just in case your loved one is not an organized person, make sure that you gently remind them or help them organize important documents. Keep it in a safe place like a fire-proof safe or a safety deposit box. Make sure that someone else other than your loved one also has access to it, like a trusted lawyer or family friend.

  1.    Refer your loved one to an estate lawyer.

A lot of people think that if you don’t have that much property, it is not that important to talk to a lawyer regarding your wishes when you pass away. But that is not the case at all. Since a will details how your properties and assets will be split among your beneficiaries in the event of your death, it is essential that your loved one discusses this with an estate lawyer in order to minimize the tax dues and avoid probate. This makes it easier for the next of kin or remaining loved ones to get their inheritance.

Of course, the last will is important, but that is not all. Here are other things you should prepare for:

  •    A living will – A living will is a document that contains a person’s wishes about what to do and what not to do regarding medical treatments and care in case they get into an unfortunate accident and will not be able to voice out or make decisions for their care anymore.

This document often involves whether a person wants to be kept in life support in case they go under a vegetative state or if resuscitation will be performed in case they lose their heartbeat.

  •    Medical Power of Attorney – But since not all medical scenarios can be covered by a living will, a designated Medical Power of Attorney is always handy. This designated person will be able to perform medical-related decisions that you cannot make due to your incapacity.

For example, if in your old age, you develop dementia, and also find out that you have cancer, your designated person will be able to make the medical decisions that are needed going forward.

  •    Power of Attorney – Your loved one should also be able to designate someone with a Power of Attorney who will manage their financial affairs. For example, to pay your bills, deposit your checks, and more.

We never know what disease could impair us in the future. You could develop dementia or Alzheimer’s disease in old age and not be able to do simple tasks, such as buying groceries and paying bills. So the designated person can make all those financial decisions for you.

The person you designate for a Power of Attorney cannot necessarily make the medical decisions for you unless you have indicated so.

  •    Declare guardianship – If you have dependents who are minors or someone who will not be able to make decisions or care for themselves due to a disability, then you should be prepared and declare guardianship of these dependents in case you become incapacitated.

It is crucial that you also talk to a professional regarding Medicare and Medicaid policies, and how you can prepare for your disabled dependent to be covered.

  1.    Help your loved one in funeral planning.

Funeral planning is not a very pleasant conversation to have, but again, it is necessary. Upon your loved one’s death, it is essential that their memorial service is as they want it to be. Preparing who will write for their obituaries and other minute but important details must also be planned so that you don’t have to make these decisions while everyone is grieving and dealing with the pain.

Eventually, all people pass away. Planning while you are still able to do so is necessary so that the death of your loved one doesn’t become complicated for those who will be left behind. Making sure that all legal and financial matters are in place and adequately signed and arranged with a lawyer is critical so that whatever was planned will be upheld without unnecessary trouble.

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