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5 Reasons You Need an End of Life Plan (#3 Can Catch You Out!)

By Sixty and Me March 25, 2019 Interviews

Do you need to be convinced that an end of life plan is a good idea for women over 60? In today’s video, Jane Duncan Rogers, the founder of the nonprofit organization Before I Go Solutions, is here to do just that! Keep reading to learn her five reasons why a good end of life plan can make your final years so much easier on you and those who care about you!

A Will and Why You Need It

Do you really want to burden your loved ones with sorting out your affairs if you die without a will? Yet for far too many families, Jane says, that’s exactly what happens.

Simply put, not enough of us have the will to make a will. And because we don’t, those already grieving from their loss will wait longer for – and receive less of – an inheritance. They’ll be deprived of the fees involved in settling our estates.

And without a will, how can you be sure your most treasured possessions go to the people you want? Just think of this end of life step as doing a wonderful final favor for those you love!

An Advance Directive: In Case You Don’t Want to Live Forever

As women growing older in the 21st century, we’re blessed with medical advances capable of adding many productive years to our lives. Our doctors, however, are trained to use them to keep us alive regardless of the emotional, financial or physical price.

An advance directive lets your doctors know what treatments you don’t want when you’re dying. It’s an insurance policy guaranteeing they’ll honor your wishes.

Even the healthiest women over 60 are one serious illness or accident from being unable to speak for themselves. With your advance directive, your loved ones can be confident about speaking for you.

The Sendoff: How You Want Your Loved Ones to Say Goodbye

A meaningful end of life plan is about more than your legal responsibilities. It lets others know how to acknowledge your passing beyond cremation or burial. Remember that grief may keep them from thinking clearly about the kind of sendoff you’d love.

If you want to be buried according to a specific religious rite, say so. Is there someone special you’d like to give your eulogy? Or any or music and readings you find especially meaningful? Let people know.

If you’d rather certain individuals didn’t participate, make that clear too. Many of your mourners will feel your presence at the gathering. They’ll want to know they’ve done you proud.

A Power of Attorney: So There’s Someone to Watch over You

When you’re incapacitated, an advance directive can tell your doctors how not to treat you. But you’ll also need someone to take responsibility for your other affairs.

A legal power of attorney authorizes a person or persons of your choosing to manage your financial and health matters when you aren’t capable. The power lasts only until you recover.

Quite surprisingly, in the UK, even your spouse or next of kin needs your power of attorney to act on your behalf. Because that may not apply elsewhere, it’s important to investigate the laws where you live.

Your Personal Preferences: Because Caretakers Aren’t Mind Readers

One of the smartest things you can do, Jane advises, is list your favorite foods, clothing, music and television programs in your end of life plan. Why?

So you’ll still be able to enjoy them if you become incapacitated and enter a nursing home, hospice or other care facility. If you have religious beliefs, include them for the comfort their end of life rituals can bring.

Making your preferences known is another step toward easing your last days. As professional caretakers, the people around you will be more than grateful for the information. After all, they’ll want you to be as happy as possible!

What has kept you from creating your end of life plan? If you’ve already taken the plunge, have you any tips for those who hesitate? Please join in this challenging conversation below!

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The Author

Sixty and Me is a community of over 500,000 women over 60 founded by Margaret Manning. Our editorial team publishes articles on lifestyle topics including fashion, dating, retirement and money.

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