Discussions about end of life planning are never simple but they’re very important. Planning and making decisions about what will happen when you pass away doesn’t have to put a burden on your loved ones. Instead, make it a positive experience and prepare in advance. It is a good chance to reflect on the things that are important and to make arrangements that suit you.
Not sure where to start when it comes to end-of-life planning? We have compiled all the information required as well as a checklist to help you begin your preparation.
What is End of Life Planning?
End of life planning is part of your Estate Plan, which details what you want to happen when reaching the final phases of life. The process assists in making your wishes clearer so when the time comes, your loved ones don’t have to worry about the difficult task of making choices on your behalf.
When it comes to preparing for the end of your life, your plan should include factors such as your care preferences, medical interventions, and what measures should be taken when you pass.
Why is End of Life Planning Important?
Without an end of life plan, your loved ones are forced to make decisions for you which may not be particularly in line with your wishes. This is why it’s important for you to construct this plan prior to the conclusion of your life journey.
It can also assist in relieving stress from those around you while protecting your assets and legacy. Organising your plan allows you to control the process while you still can especially if you’ve been diagnosed with a life-threatening or terminal illness.
When should I start planning?
Even though end of life preparation is often undertaken when people are suffering a chronic illness, planning can commence at any time, whether you’re healthy or not.
Having a conversation with your doctor may also assist in better comprehending how your illness will advance prior to developing a plan.
End of Life Planning Checklist
Once you have a plan in place and have communicated this to your loved ones, it makes it easier knowing you have done everything you can on your end.
Here are a few points to consider to ensure your plan is ready to go.
1. Prepare Your Documents
When it comes to beginning this stage of your Estate Plan, knowing what is required in terms of documentation is helpful.
You may start to prepare your Will or Trust, depending on what you prefer.
● A Trust allows you to control your estate and assets while you’re living and after you pass away.
● A Will allows your medical decisions to be followed if you become incapable and are unable to convey your wishes to your family or friends.
● The Last Will and Testament is a legal document that specifics how your assets should be dealt with when you pass away.
● Donations of tissue or organs which you may want to appoint upon your death.
2. A Will or Trust: Which is better?
Wills and trusts are both different in their own way and each serves a different purpose. Not sure which path is the best one to take? Consider the following points.
A Trust is a living document that owns and holds your assets. They are ideal for:
● Privacy and doesn’t require going through probate as Will’s do.
● Protection from litigation
● Allowing stronger management over asset assignment
A Will is ideal for:
● Naming guardians
● Planning for your final arrangements
● Identifying how you want to pass your assets down
3. List Your Assets
Your assets are what you own. These can commonly change and are dependent on what you’ve collected through your lifetime.
Some examples of different types of assets include:
● Bank Accounts and Cash
● Real Estate and land
● Investments, Stocks, and Bonds
● Life Insurance Policies
● Jewellery and Valuables such as Art and Collectibles
● Motor Vehicles
● Corporate Assets
4. Decide on Funeral and Burial Arrangements
Planning your funeral and burial arrangements can be morbid but it can help ease the burden for friends and family. By arranging your own funeral, you will help those close to you celebrate your life as opposed to being apprehensive when planning your final goodbye.
Start by contacting funeral homes to discuss your options then discuss these with your loved ones and go from there. Also, decide on whether you want to be cremated or buried in a casket and where you want your funeral to take place.
Want to share your story?
Writing your own obituary doesn’t have to be hard. With a Memories Page, you can create a digital legacy, where you can present your friends and family with your life story and enable them to become inspired by the life you lived.