End-of-Life Planning Checklist
Plan Ahead for Peace of Mind
Wondering how to make an end-of-life plan? Not sure where to begin planning end-of-life care?
You are not alone!
There is no shortage of resources to help you organize your affairs when it comes to end-of-life planning. However, even navigating those resources can feel like an overwhelming task.
Consequently, we’ve created a simple end-of-life planning checklist that isn’t bogged down with endless options and meticulous details. This list will give you a high-level overview of the most important things you need to consider. This will enable you to develop a more personalized and detailed task list from there, with all the agenda items you need and none of the ones you don’t.
Data & Documentation Storage
- Decide how and where to keep your end-of-life documents. There are many online services and apps for this now,
- Create an inventory list of all your online accounts, digital assets (devices) and their passwords. Include any relevant instructions on what you want to happen to accounts (i.e. Do you want your airline miles transferred to an heir? Did you designate a legacy contact to manage your memorialized profile? Are there subscriptions that need canceling?)
- Create and include an Advanced Directive, which should be up-to-date and notarized. This will include your treatment orders around life support, resuscitation, nursing home/hospice care, organ and tissue donation, power of attorney (POA) and funeral arrangements.
- If applicable, include a Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) form. This is only used in certain states and is intended for those who have a serious or life-threatening illness. Your physician will fill out the form. It will be filled out based on your other directives and the discussions you’ve had around the likely course of your illness and your treatment preferences.
Finances & Assets
- Create a list of everything you own and owe
- Provide bank account and credit card information, including how your statements are received and paid.
- Provide life insurance policies and beneficiary information, including any documentation regarding funeral insurance or a pre-paid burial plot.
- Include any relevant information and instruction about investments (stocks, collectables, etc.).
- Provide any information about outstanding debts. The courts will use other existing assets from your estate to repay post-mortem debt.
- Include information about loans owed to you. Loans you made to other people should be repaid to your estate even after you die. These must be documented in order for the courts to legally pursue repayment.
- Create your Last Will & Testament. This includes information about who will manage your estate, how your assets will be distributed amongst your beneficiaries, who will act as guardian and manage any assets you leave to minor children, and how you’d like debts repaid or forgiven.
- Create a list of meaningful items and who you would like to inherit those possessions.
- Dispose of any items you don’t want next of kin to find or inherit (personal journals, sensitive photos, etc.)
- Create a “Where to find” document listing where family members can find things they may need after your death (the title to your car, external hard drives, the keys to a safe, stored cash, the deed to your house, your social security and Medicare cards, etc.)
- Include a recording your life story. This can be written and formatted into a life story book, captured with a video camera, or recoded in an audio format. Platforms like Storii can make this incredibly easy to do.
- You could include an Ethical Will or Legacy Letter as your last wishes for loved ones to read after your passing.