We all make plans about our life, but we often neglect that final stretch. Making end of life plans can be challenging because of all the questions you may have. Why is end of life planning important? And what end of life documents do you need? Is it just a nursing or a real estate plan? That’s where Myend’s checklist for end of life planning is offering a simple solution.
But before we answer these questions, let’s start from the beginning!
What is end of life planning?
In short, end of life planning refers to any effort you make to prepare yourself and your family for your final days and your passing. The most famous example of end of life planning is a Last Will and Testament.
End of life planning goes much further than that, though. It includes any medical, legal, financial documents that relate to your end of life healthcare, passing and even funeral. That’s why some people may use an end of life planning workbook.
As you can imagine, creating an end of life plan can be a huge endeavor since it is such an inclusive term. Combine that with people’s general tendency to avoid anything related to death and it becomes obvious why you may want to procrastinate working on that.
Although we agree that thinking about your own passing can be quite confronting, we also firmly believe that end of life planning is crucial!
Why do you need end of life planning?
There are actually multiple reasons why end of life planning makes a lot of sense.
Firstly, a great motivation for you can be thinking about all your loved ones. In most cases these are going to be the people that will have to pick up the pieces after you pass away. That is of course an immense responsibility that they have to accept while they’re mourning too. A thorough end of life plan can make their lives much easier.
Then you have to think of all the beneficiaries included in many end of life documents. For instance if you have not carefully planned ahead, they may end up inheriting more debts than assets. End of life planning will make you much more aware of the state of assets.
And that brings us to the next reason why you should be involved with end of life planning: yourself. Being aware of your belongings can be a truly empowering experience since it lets you reflect on your entire life.
But that’s hardly the only emotional benefit. Knowing that you’ll pass away giving gifts to your loved one and minimum burden is truly a liberating feeling. Keep in mind that practical benefits of having an end of life plan is mostly the sense of control you get regarding your end of life healthcare. Specifically, if for any reason you become incapacitated, your medical end of life documents will allow your family to make decisions based on your wishes.
It’s important to keep all your wishes in written form. Oral end of life planning is hardly planning and usually has almost no legal status.
All the above make one thing very clear: Careful end of life planning is very important both for you and your loved ones. But how can you possibly organize all these tasks without skipping something important? And how can you make sure you keep track of your progress?
We understand why you have all of these questions. That’s why we’ve come up with our end of life planning checklist. Myend’s checklist is a comprehensive tool with easy to understand terms and clear instructions. Think of it as your map while you’re trying to navigate through an unknown area.
The end of life planning checklist that we offer is free for all and you need no account to use. Anyone can download it and fill it in although it admittedly works even better when combined with our services. You can download Myend’s End of Life Planning Checklist (pdf) by clicking the button bellow.
The Checklist Explained
If you want to skip ahead to the checklist itself you can! It comes with instructions to make it as easy-to-use as possible so you don’t have to keep putting your end of life planning off. However, if you want to learn more about its sections and different steps, we’re here to guide you.
If you feel stuck at any point you can always try to work on a different section of the checklist. Essentially, once you’ve completed the first steps section, you can go back and forth between sections.
Let’s have a section-by-section look!
This is where it all begins. You can’t make concrete end of life plans without thinking about end of life arrangements first. This section assists with organizing your mental process and setting a solid foundation for your entire end of life plan. You’ll have to reflect on your estate, assets and debts and make your first step putting that down on paper.
Legal & Inheritance
We already mentioned before a Last Will as a well known example of end of life planning. This section provides even more examples of related legal documents such a Trust or a Living Will. Additionally, since resting your Last Will can be quite a complex endeavor, we offer some examples of things you may want to consider including. Finally, we offer tips about handling your digital assets and collecting legal documents.
This is a very straightforward section. As the name suggests, it focuses on medical records and documents related to end of life healthcare. A POLST (Physician’s Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment) or an Advance Care plan are great examples of such documents. Essentially, any documents that are about resuscitation or tube feeding are things you should think about when you reach this section. Organ and tissue donation is also included in this section.
Now that you have taken care of your end of life healthcare and legal details, it’s time to flesh out your farewell to your loved ones. You should consider leaving behind some sort of message or memorabilia. That’s why Myend offers a Last Goodbye feature that helps you compose messages to your loved ones. You can choose between text and video format to customize your message so it reflects your personality.
Another option to send a message of affection is by using Myend’s e-will. This is a free and non legally binding document that indicates which loved one should receive what from your estate. It’s a cute and simple way of saying thanks for the nice memories!
The final section of the checklist is not about what happens before you pass away or sometime after you pass away. It’s instead about what happens directly after your death: your funeral and wake.
Many people don’t have strong feelings about their funeral while others would love to map out all the processes and ceremonies that take place. Regardless, we recommend that you specify your wishes so your family knows how to organize your funeral. That’s why Myend also offers a very detailed and thorough funeral planner that allows you to go through all little details of a funeral. The checklist also reminds you of your death anniversary in case you want to include that too.
Thinking of your end of life and planning ahead can be overwhelming and confronting. Additionally, organizing all these details can be a hassle but it’s worth it. That’s why we have created this planning checklist to make sure that your thoughts remain organized. This way you can spend your final days knowing that you’ve done your best to take care of both you and your loved ones!