In Part 3 of this series of Tulip guides for after a loved one passes (see What Comes Next here and How To Grieve here) we’ll talk through the idea of planning ahead. You know since you’ve been handling everything from the logistics of closing bank accounts to the emotional weight of grief that being the point person after a loved one’s passing can be hard.
A Natural Progression
We’ve heard from many Tulip members that going through a loved one’s passing can bring to mind questions about our own morality. As Lisa J. Shultz writes in her book A Chance to Say Goodbye: Reflections on Losing a Parent, “By acknowledging my impermanence, I can consider if there is anything I can do now to help my loved ones who will be left behind cope with losing me and to facilitate healing.”
Today, we’re going to look into an idea that many people think about but few people talk about – the idea of planning ahead for our own passing. This can be a tough topic to think about, but it’s an important one. Here are some ways to structure this conversation with your loved ones and with yourself.
Estate Planning 101
Estate Planning – or creating a will – is the process of creating a plan for how your belongings and assets will be distributed after your passing. After your passing your will provides insight and instructions for where your assets will go, as well as providing for guardianship over any minor children or other dependents. A will also names an executor – the person who executes your wishes and ensures that your will is followed.
It’s important to remember that a will can contain instructions for your larger assets – who inherits a house, or car, say – but also for your smaller, more sentimental belongings. As you think through these more sentimental bequests, think of fond, shared memories you’ve had with family and friends to guide your giving. Many people work with a lawyer to create a will, but there are also many tools online that can help.
Planning the Personal
Wills are not only about planning the distribution of your belongings. You can also specify your end of life arrangements in your will to provide a plan for your loved ones after you pass. You can specify whether you’d like to be buried or cremated, and what you’d like your memorial service or end of life celebration to entail.
By planning your own end of life arrangements you can lighten the burden on your family from having to think through all of this in the immediate time after your passing. Outlining your end of life arrangements – which is easy and secure with a prepaid Tulip plan – can help your loved ones by taking care of an important task in advance. Putting some thought into how you’d like to be remembered can also be a time of reflection and celebration. If you’re interested in learning more about planning your end of life arrangements by purchasing a prepaid Tulip plan, you can speak with Tulip’s Family Care Team by entering your information here.
Planning ahead can help our loved ones focus more on the emotions associated with loss and less on the logistical decisions that can often attend a passing. Here at Tulip we’re here for you and your family.