An Essential End-of-Life Planning Checklist

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    An Essential End-of-Life Planning Checklist

    Nobody particularly likes to think about their final days, but it’s a necessary process in each person’s life. Preparing in advance will help ease you through the process and give you greater peace of mind. Here is an essential end-of-life planning checklist to help things go more smoothly.

    Prepare Documents

    Preparing your documents is one of the first things you’ll need to do when planning for end-of-life. This can sometimes feel overwhelming because there is a lot to consider, but it doesn’t have to be with the correct information. Once you know all the necessary documents that need to be taken care of, the process becomes much smoother and simpler. Here is a list of documents that are important to prepare for end-of-life:

    • Living Will
    • Living Trust
    • Last Will and Testament
    • Letter of Intent
    • Financial Power of Attorney
    • Health Care Power of Attorney
    • Letter of Competency
    • Organ Donor Card
    • DNR Order
    • HIPAA Release
    • Domestic Partnership Agreement

    Will or Trust

    Wills and trusts are necessary tools that determine what happens to a person’s assets and estate after they pass. You can choose one or the other or use them together to protect and pass on your legacy. However, there are a few distinct differences between the two legal arrangements. Wills go into effect upon an individual’s death, while you can utilize a trust during life and after. Wills tend to be an easier course of action, while trusts can get more complex. The major downside of a will is that it endures a legal process that requires filing with the probate court. A trust is able to sidestep the probate process.

    List Assets

    A list of assets is another essential item to include on your end-of-life planning checklist. Assets are all the things you own and wish to pass down to an heir. Listing these items is necessary for planning how people handle your estate upon your death. Here are some examples of assets to include:

    • Bank Accounts (Saving/Checking)
    • Real Estate/Land/Property
    • Stocks/Bonds/Investments
    • Retirement Plans/Pensions
    • Cash/Treasury Bills
    • Life Insurance Policies
    • Corporate Assets

    Determine End-of-Life Care & Housing

    This step of the process is when you decide what your living arrangements will be. If you’re struggling with a terminal illness or need extra assistance with daily tasks and activities, consider an assisted living facility or hospice care. Developing an end-of-life hospice care plan is beneficial for you and your loved ones. You can also opt for in-home care services. Whichever choice you decide is best for you, you’ll need to make the appropriate arrangements.

    Final Wishes & Burial Arrangements

    While it can be challenging to think about your own funeral, it is a necessary step that helps to ease the burden on your loved ones after you pass. It’s important to decide where you would like your final resting place to be and what kind of service or memorial you would like to have. Here are some funeral and burial options to consider:

    • Traditional Service
    • Viewing & Visitation
    • Memorial Service
    • Wake
    • Celebration of Life
    • Graveside Service
    • Scattering of Ashes
    • In-ground Burial
    • Mausoleum or Crypt
    • Cremation

    With this checklist of end-of-life planning essentials, you can prepare in advance with confidence and peace of mind. Communicate with your loved ones throughout the process so they are up-to-date and aware of your wishes and arrangements.