7 Essential Documents For Your End of Life Planning Checklist

documents for end of life planning

People tend to avoid conversations related to End of Life Planning. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has hit all of us in some way or the other. Hence, now is the time to have these conversations and prepare for the end.

Most of us get intimidated when it comes to planning for the end. But, realistically speaking, it is one of the best things you can do for your loved ones. It is basically outlining your final wishes and providing peace of mind to your loved ones even after your demise.

We understand how overwhelming it can be. This is why we are here to tell you about all the essential End of Life Planning Documents.

7 Essential End of Life Planning Documents

Here is a list of ten documents that you should include in your End of Life Planning checklist.

preparing for end of life planning

Living Will

It is quite a common document when it comes to end of life planning checklist. A Living Will is usually created by patients with a terminal illness to express their wishes regarding end of life care.

It is a legal document that outlines your preference regarding medical care such as tube feeding, pain management, medication, resuscitation, and dialysis. There are certain legal documents such as “Do Not Resuscitate (DNR)” that will help you specify these preferences but it’s best to include these wishes in your Living Will.

Last Will and Testament

Unlike Living Will, it allows you to express your wishes for “ after your death”. In a Last Will and Testament, you can determine how your assets should be distributed after your death. Thus, it is essential to include it in your End of Life Planning Checklist.

Here are a few pieces of information you need to be familiar with when it comes to Last Will.

  • Executor: Refers to the person who will make sure your final wishes are honored.
  • Beneficiaries: They refer to people who receive your assets after you die.
  • Personal Properties: Refers to the assets you want to be distributed among Beneficiaries.
  • Final Wishes/ Instructions: You can add instructions/wishes for the funeral and burial arrangements. Living Trust

Living Trust

It is in some way similar to Living Will, only it determines how your financial assets should be distributed after your death. Anything with financial value (real estate, bank accounts, and vehicles) can be put under Living Trust. It is a kind of fund that holds your assets while you are alive. Once you die your assets get distributed as outlined in your Trust.

Letter of Intent

It is not a legal document; rather, it is a personal way to express your “End of Life Planning” to your loved ones. You can include your final wishes regarding funeral arrangements, care instructions for pets, instructions for your Digital Assets, etc in a Letter of intent. Additionally, you can state the reason behind your wishes in your Letter of Intent.

Letter of Competency

A letter of competency includes a letter written by your doctor that attests to your mental capacity at the time you draft your will or other legal documents.

In case any disputes arise among beneficiaries over estate documents or distribution of your assets, the letter of competency will dismiss them by stating you were in the right mental state when you signed the documents. This is why you need to include this in your End of Life Planning Documents.

Financial Power of Attorney

It is important to think of Financial Power of Attorney while “End of Life Planning” as it grants a trusted person of your choice the authority to manage your legal and financial affairs. Here are the different levels of power that you need to know:

  • General power of attorney: This refers to appointing a trusted person with the power to sign your legal documents and make financial decisions on your behalf.
  • A durable power of attorney: It extends the power of the appointed person’s in case you become incapacitated and are unable to make your own decisions.

So, make sure you specify the level of power of the appointed person.

Health Care Power of Attorney

It is also known as a health care proxy and is a legal document that comes into effect only when you are unable to make medical care decisions on your own. It basically acts on your behalf if you are incapacitated.

The appointed health care proxy provides consent to perform medical treatments such as surgeries.

These were seven crucial documents that will help you create the ultimate End of Life Planning Checklist. Start preparing for the end to ensure your family’s peace of mind even after your demise.