Dress rehearsal for death – How to prepare for your final act

Death is inevitable and we will all die one day. Sudden death scares everyone and can devastate those left behind. This is why it is not a bad idea to host a death rehearsal – from an administrative perspective.

A death rehearsal is a run-through of all the official and legal affairs you need your family and friends to know after you depart. These matters include inheritance, passed down possessions, words of wisdom you need to convey to help your loved ones carry on after your death, and other essential information (e.g. passwords to devices, important contacts, location of your important items).

Last Will and Testament

The first priority should always be your Last Will and Testament. It is important to let your family know that you have written your Will, how the possessions will be divided after you are gone and where the Will is located. The Will also includes the executor who will take care of carrying out your wishes. Ensure that you choose the executor of your estate wisely. Many financial institutions who offer free Last Will and Testament services charge high fees (deducted from your estate) and may not always keep your best interests in mind when administering your estate.

Your Will should mention the executor as well as include the signatures of two witnesses. The witnesses need to be people who are not beneficiaries on the Will. It is better to use a standard Will template from your jurisdiction and/or hire a lawyer to help you write the Will correctly to take care of legal difficulties that come with it.

Funeral Planning

By giving an outline of your funeral plan you can ease your family of the burden of planning one for you. This outline can include any wishes you have such as open or closed casket, location of the grave plot, plans for cremation, organ donation requests, etc. You can also pre-pay the funeral service or take out a funeral insurance benefit so that your family does not have to worry about it.

Organize Your Official Matters

Your life insurance, debts, bills, and other financial matters need to be figured out. This will help your heirs find the property and assets given to them in the Will. It can definitely help the family know about any life insurance policies and the location of local and international savings accounts. If you fear that you cannot let them know about it while you are living, record this data on a secure digital locker app like Shared Trust. The app lets you nominate people you trust to whom this data will be unlocked to at a time of your choosing (e.g. you are missing, disabled or deceased).

Recording your affairs beforehand can make it easier for your family and close ones after your death. They would not need to go through the hassle of going to lawyers and courts, and waiting years for an executor to identify all your assets, who your debtors and creditors are, and what policies you had taken out.

The Shared Trust is available for Android devices on Google Play and Apple iOS devices on the App Store.

References

Klosowski, T. (2013, March 28). One Day, You’re Going to Die. Here’s How to Prepare for It. Retrieved from Life Hacker: https://lifehacker.com/one-day-youre-going-to-die-heres-how-to-prepare-for-i-5992722