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The Gift of Having a Plan

 Posted by Renee Anderson on August 11, 2020 at 6:44 PM

If there was a theme for the year 2020, it would seem to be, “You never know what will happen.” While that’s actually always been true, the point seems to be made every day that things are always changing, and we aren’t guaranteed that things will continue to go on in the same way. This has made a lot of people start thinking about their own lives and what might happen next. One thing that can be difficult for people to think about is what would happen to their loved ones if they were no longer there. However, pre-planning can help bring some peace of mind.

 Pre-planning is the process of organizing the essential information and documents that would be needed to finalize your affairs at the time of your passing. Your loved ones would need to have access to your financial records, online accounts and passwords, insurance policies, and a host of other things. Trying to gather all of this essential information after someone has passed can be incredibly overwhelming for a grieving family member or friend, but you can help make that process a little bit easier.

 Start by getting a will. A recent study has shown that fewer than 40% of people actually have a will and estate planning documents. The study goes on to state that two of the most common reasons for not having those documents in place are not having had the time to do it and not feeling like they have enough assets to leave anyone.* The reality is, if you don’t decide where your assets will go after your passing, the state will do that for you; or your loved ones will have to fight for the right to do that work for you. It is a much clearer and easier process to prepare those documents ahead of time.

 Another way to help will be to simplify now. Try to minimize your paperwork by keeping only what is essential. Or, start a conversation with your loved ones about items they might wish to have or consider what you’d like to leave them. Some items that have great significance to you may not hold the same significance for your loved ones. Consider donating them or making arrangements for them to be used for families in need after your passing.

Finally, start talking about and writing down your wishes for your life celebration-what would you wish to see for your loved ones? Funerals and end of life celebrations are not one size fits all, and should be a unique reflection of who you are. You have the option to have a great deal of input on what that would look like as you go through the pre-planning process.

While it may seem that this is only something for people in later stages of life to be concerned with, the unfortunate reality is that nothing is guaranteed, and pre-planning is essential for people in all stages of life.


Guest Blogger, Sarah Kendrick, Founder of RHEA Services

At RHEA Services, our goal is to help people gather the essential information and keep it in one place so that it would be easy to find and carry out your wishes and finalize your affairs. We offer guided sessions so that you have support and accountability to ensure that you provide the best information possible to those left behind and so that you know what steps to take. And, when the time comes, we can also help your loved ones finalize your affairs by offering administrative supports: closing accounts, canceling appointments, finalizing social media accounts, or connecting people with the resources they need. We know that this process can feel overwhelming, but we are here to help you provide the gift of certainty and organization to your loved ones so that you can rest easy knowing that your wishes are known and your loved ones are taken care of.

Sarah Kendrick
     Founder, RHEA Services