It can be uncomfortable talking about personal details of your life, but it’s extremely important, especially for seniors. As they age and slowly near the end of their life, seniors should talk to their families and keep them informed, so they don’t have a mess of finances and belongings to deal with after their loved one has passed on. Here are three things seniors should be open about with their families.
While a will is a very private matter, your family should at least know that you have one and who the primary beneficiary is. Some people pass away without their family knowing about their will and who will receive what, or they may not have a will at all, which means the family has to make some difficult decisions in an already difficult time. This can quickly cause problems within a family, leaving siblings and parents upset and hurt, sometimes ruining relationships altogether. When someone passes on, their family is already under an immense amount of stress, and everyone is emotionally charged, so adding other stressors, like not having a will, can make things even more difficult.
Seniors should create a will and talk about it with their family and make sure everyone is looped in on what the will includes and who the primary beneficiary is. This will relieve stress for families both in the present and the future as they feel reassured about what will happen when an aging loved one passes on and will help things go smoothly.
Families want to honor the wishes of their loved ones who have passed on, but if they don’t know what those wishes are, there’s no way for them to honor them. Talk with your family about your funeral preferences, such as if you want to be buried traditionally, cremated, or if you have other burial plans in mind.
You should also make a plan for paying for a funeral and let your family know, or else they may have those funeral plans and wonder how they’re going to pay for everything in the end. Not knowing how they’ll pay for the funeral can make it a stressful event, rather than a celebration of the life of their loved one. Some life insurance policies will cover funeral expenses, so families should be aware of whether or not someone has a policy that will cover a funeral. If a senior family member doesn’t already have one, that’s okay—there’s life insurance for seniors over 85, so it’s not too late to get a policy and be prepared for the future.
Finances and Investments
Just like with a will and funeral plans, family members want to know what to expect concerning the finances of a senior family member to help them be prepared and plan for the future.
Seniors should talk with their families about every bank account, credit card, and asset they have, as well as any investments they’ve made and any debt they’ve incurred. If the family knows about each of these things, they can settle all of the finances with little stress once their loved one passes and avoid confusion, frustration, hurt feelings, and other unnecessary, negative emotional feelings.
It can be intimidating to talk with your family about such personal end-of-life plans, but after all is said and done, it makes it easier for both seniors and their family members if each of them is prepared and knows what to expect in the future. Seniors can live with the peace of mind that their families will have little to stress about when they pass on, and families will be able to avoid the negative stress that comes with death and some of the stress it can bring.