Like any significant life event, passing away brings certain processes and procedures that have to happen, both from a legal and organizational perspective. Since this is something that people only ever plan for once, no one has much experience with it, making it easy to get lost. Not to mention that it is a process no one enjoys discussing. We are going to lead you through the different practical steps necessary for straightforward after-life planning. At the end, we will include helpful links to some necessary forms and tools that will help you get things in place.
First of all, simply by starting a plan you are on the right path and taking more initiative than a majority of people. Having a plan in place can ease the burden for your loved ones in a difficult time by outlining your wishes and having financial affairs in order.
Possibly the biggest choice to make is how you would like your remains handled after your passing. This is a choice that you would make based on your family traditions and personal values. While the options are likely familiar to you, you still have to choose what reflects your views and priorities best. You will need to decide:
- Do you want to be cremated or not?
- Do you want to do a green burial or a more traditional burial?
- If you are doing a green burial, do you want to be in a shroud, compostable casket, or biodegradable urn?
- Where do you want to be interred?
Once you have decided on these elements, it will inform the remainder of your planning and will clearly outline how you need to budget. Budgeting for end of life expenses is a necessary process that will put your mind at rest by knowing your loved ones will not be burdened with extra expenses after you are gone. Luckily, there are several established options, from savings plans to life insurance policies. We have more information on after-life expenses here.
Finally, there is basic paperwork and organizing that will have to happen. Once you have started the planning process you will want to address the necessary legal requirements, such as ensuring you have an up-to-date will, a clearly-mapped estate, and a chosen executor that you are going to entrust with handling your after-life affairs.
Hopefully, this helps with making the planning process more surmountable and will alleviate some of the stress for you and your family. Below are links to important documents and resources necessary for a stress-free planning process.
- Will and Estate Planning [https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/family-social-supports/seniors/financial-legal-matters/wills-and-estate-planning]
- Estate Map [https://partnersincarealliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/PICA-ESTATE-PLANNING-CHECKLIST.pdf]
- Advance Care Planning [https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/family-social-supports/seniors/health-safety/advance-care-planning]