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willIt’s a fact of life that we’re all going to die at some point. While it’s not something you probably want to think about, you can make things a lot easier on yourself (and your family) if you get everything in order now.

Here are 7 simple steps to take to be ready. They are summarized from the article “One Day, You’re Going to Die. Here’s How to Prepare for It.” Read the whole article to learn the specifics.

  1.  Write Your Last Will and Testament. In a will, you designate what happens with your property, who you want to be the guardians of your children, and who you want to be the person (executor) who carries out your wishes after you die. It’s very important to have a will. A will is usually simple and inexpensive, unless you have a lot of assets or a complicated financial situation. Click on the link above to read more wills and trusts.
  2. Outline your Funeral or Memorial Service.  Letting your family know your wishes will save them a lot of headache and worry. Find a burial plot or make arrangements for cremation with a local funeral home. You can decide whether to pre-pay for these services or just set aside the money to cover the costs. You can also outline what should happen at the memorial services.
  3. Designate What Happens If You’re Ill or Incapacitated.  A living will, a power of attorney, and a medical power of attorney will specify what happens if you are ill, incompetent, or incapacitated.
  4. Prepare a Living Will and Designate a Medical Power of Attorney. A living will outlines your wishes for medical care if you’re in an accident and can’t speak for yourself. It addresses your wishes for resuscitation, dialysis, organ donation, etc. Keep a copy for yourself, and give copies to your physician, a family member, and your healthcare agent or lawyer.
  5. Organize Your Finances, Life Insurance, Bills, Debts, and Everything Else. Make a list of financial assets, obligations, insurance policies, bank accounts, etc.
  6. Secure your digital life. Make a list of social media accounts and other online profiles, including passwords, and leave instructions on what your heirs should do with them–delete them or turn them into a memorial.
  7. Set Up a Master File of Everything. Put in a safe place all your documents, certificates, letters of instruction, and other important papers.