Making end of life preparations for yourself now, when you are hopefully no where near the end of life, can relieve your family of a lot of stress later. These preparations don't necessarily need to be time consuming, but there are decisions to make. The following list, although not exhaustive, can help you get started with this task.
#1: Update your beneficiaries
Many accounts and financial products allow you to name beneficiaries. This includes savings and checking accounts, personal insurance policies, and even things like home loans. Make sure the beneficiary information is up to date so there is no question of where these items go in the event of your demise.
#2: Keep everything organized
Have a filing system in place for all important documents and keep them together. A common method of making sure the survivors can find everything they need to set your affairs in order is to put together a file folder with copies of all financial accounts and important information, such as identification, social security cards, and even online passwords. This is then placed somewhere secure, such as a safe deposit box, and one or two trusted individuals are informed of the location.
#3: Plan your final arrangements
Do you want a large memorial service or would you prefer a quiet affair with just the family there for a simple graveside service? Writing out a basic plan of what you would prefer, including whether you you want cremation or burial. Even if you have no real preferences, it is a good idea to come up with a simple plan if only to relieve your family of the task when they are already in mourning. This is also a good time to appoint an executor of your estate. This is someone that handles the final details, both personal and financial, after your passing. Some people appoint a lawyer, but you can also appoint a friend or family member. Just make sure it is someone that can handle both the emotional and administrative burden upon your death. (For example, a spouse isn't usually a good choice because they will be grieving.)
#4: Pay in advance
Paying for everything in advance also helps make things easier on your loved ones. Often, death benefits aren't paid out immediately so your family could experience some financial stress trying to plan a funeral. Cremation is a cost effective option, and there are many ways to approach it. Most providers allow you to prepay, and some even offer payment plans. You can pay for only the cremation and urn, or you can purchase a package that also includes a memorial service.
Talk with a funeral planner for more help.