A terminal illness is never a pleasant feeling. All the stress and pain that comes with it makes money the last thing on your mind. But you have to discuss some important financial issues before the worst happens. This article will show you what you need to do to plan for terminal family members.
What Goes Where?
The first item on the agenda should be the will. Hopefully, your terminal family member already has one in place. But even if they do, if they are of sound mind and body they should have the opportunity to make any last-minute changes, if they so desire. It can take over a year in court to reclaim belongings if there’s no will. Without a will, the US government claims the items until the family members can come forward via the justice system. Naturally, this is costly and time-consuming.
Dependents are a big issue. For example, an elderly grandparent taking care of a grandson or granddaughter may need to send them to someone upon their deaths. This should be planned ahead of time, but if you are still early on in the process it’s good to talk about this now. Dependents should be helped to make the transition as early as possible. You also need to address the financial side of things, such as how much the new guardians will receive towards the cost of their upkeep.
Wrapping Up Medical Fees
The chances are you’re facing a bill when your family member finally passes on. This bill will come to the surviving family members, who will have to find the money from the deceased’s estate. Make sure there is ample cash set aside to ensure that these bills can be paid. You should also look into any existing insurance policies for help with paying medical fees. Take note that most medical care programs only cover a certain amount of your treatment, so make sure you are aware of this so you don’t receive any nasty surprises later.
What about the Funeral?
The cost of dying is now well into thousands of dollars. Again, this will have to come out of your pocket. Your relative should have some form of funeral or burial insurance to cover the costs. If they do, check to see what their package covers. They may only cover certain types of funeral, or they may only account for part of the cost. Burial insurance exists specifically for funeral costs, so it’s worth looking into this as early as possible.
You should be made aware of any outstanding debts well in advance of the person’s death. These debts may or may not be passed on to surviving family members. Check the terms and conditions of each debt to see whether this applies or not. Ideally, the person should be able to pay their debts out of the costs of their estate.
Financial planning is tough at such a difficult time. But it’s a vital part of the process of saying goodbye. Make sure you aren’t surprised by a large bill because you didn’t plan in advance. Discuss these issues today.