Planning for the end of life is important no matter what time of the world we’re in. Making an end of life plan — or helping a loved one plan their end of life layout — can be an important part of setting up your future for yourself and those around you to have a smoother experience during a difficult time. The end of a life is never easy, but making a plan for it can take some of the weight off of you and those around you when the time does come, especially when you have the ability to go at it with a clear head and time to process before the event actually arrives.
While COVID-19 has changed a lot of things in this world — especially throughout the medical and funeral industries — it has also made it apparent just how crucial end of life planning can be. While many people have long felt as though the end of a life is a foreign concept, the pandemic has woken many people up to the realities of death, sickness and death care. Everyone eventually passes away, just as everyone is born and just as everyone has people who love and care for them. Death is a part of life, and COVID has taught many people that while it may be difficult to think about specifics in the moment, having a plan is far superior to not having one. Here are a few reasons why having an end of life plan is important, especially in the time of COVID.
Knowing Your Options
One of the most important reasons to have an end of life plan, and to explore it early on, is to understand your options and figure out exactly what you want so you can be satisfied with your choices. Plus, in the era of COVID, it can be smart to have a few different plans depending on the state of the world and the options available to you at the time of the end of life. While the pandemic may begin to fade, it may also stick around for a while. When it comes to details like care facilities, hospice services and funeral home care, some of those spaces might be overwhelmed, and having multiple plans can save you a lot of trouble and worry.
COVID or no COVID, having a will is important for everyone. Having a will dictates who your possessions, financial assets and even intellectual property. While writing a will might seem as simple as naming people on a list and dividing important possessions, wills can actually be quite involved, which also means they can be tailored to your needs as much as you would like them to be. Things like power of attorney and setting up trusts for kids and grandkids are all done through the writing of a will. Even if you aren’t going anytime soon, having things laid out in writing can allow you to put it out of your mind, while also giving you the time you need to truly prioritize how you want things to go.
Remember How Care May Change
One of the unique parts of planning for the future during a pandemic — whether or not that includes your end of life plan — is the way that many of the systems are subject to change with the state of public health. Even things as simple as the grieving process and the goodbye process for families of those passing away — from COVID or other conditions — have changed drastically since funerals, religious services and other gatherings have been met with health and safety restrictions. Options like nursing homes, certain hospitals and other care proceedings may be different and carry different risks than they did before the pandemic. Going through your options, reevaluating and making an effort to evolve your opinions with the state of the world usually can’t hurt.
Peace of Mind for You and Your Loved Ones
Pandemic or no pandemic, having an end of life plan that’s comprehensive and works for you can allow you to feel secure in your choices no matter what happens. It also helps to relieve some of the stress from family and friends who may otherwise need to make tough calls and struggle with more responsibilities. Having an end of life plan can make the process smoother and easier, and knowing that can give everyone a bit of peace.
End of Life Planning During COVID
Creating an end of life plan may seem hard at first, but if COVID has taught us anything, it’s that preparing for whatever happens can save at least a bit of stress and heartache. No matter what your plan looks like, having one — especially now — can set you and your loved ones up for peace of mind.