4 Steps to Organizing End-of-Life Documents
End-of-Life documents are official records that explain how your personal and financial matters will be handled after death. These documents can be printed, written or even electronic. Organizing these End-of-Life documents can be quite challenging for those experiencing new transitions in life or are confused about where to start from, but who says it has to be technical? You can make it as simple as ABC or complicated and the power lies within you. Whatever you choose, know that it is very important to get them organised because not doing so will leave your loved ones overwhelmed with no starting point whatsoever. Well, I have written this article to help you have a simple process of getting super organised and to also guide you as you take on this big step in life.
Here are the 4 steps to organizing your End-of-life documents:
1. Set aside your important documents.
It is essential for you to know the list of documents that will be needed during the organisational process, do not get overwhelmed by the list because chances are high that you already possess 80% of the documents highlighted below.
a) Official documents about you such as your birth certificate, Social Security card, birth certificate for each dependant (if applicable), Marriage certificate and Insurance policies.
b) Bank accounts and credit card details.
c) Deeds and titles to your property such as loan payment books, contracts and even mortgages.
d) Power of attorney details (the person who attends to your legal and financial matters after you become ill.) e) Tax returns-Investment portfolios.
e) Household utilities.
f) Online businesses including social media.
g) Pension plans and retirement benefit information.
h) Funeral arrangements where you can list names and contacts of doctors, family and friends and even a to-do list for trustee.
2. Plan for your financial matters.
After sorting all your paperwork, it is now time for you to start planning for your finances. You can start by writing down names of the people whom you think should get a token of your finances on a list. Remember to take all the time you need on this step because if you rush through it, you may leave out someone and we don't want you to have any regrets on your death bed. You have to be as detailed as possible. If you make it too precise, you might leave parties confused. If you are not sure about how to describe certain extents of ownership, I suggest that you seek professional advice. When handling financial matters, you should also look at all the debts that you may have for instance mortgages and explain how you want to pay for them in case of a sudden death. You can create a payment plan and let your family or loved ones know about it.
3. Create your will and always update it in case of any changes.
A will in a formal written, printed or electronic document which specifies a person's wishes on disposition of property after death. It helps you determine what happens after you die. In most countries, a will is only valid if it has been signed at the end, made in the presence of at least two witnesses, the person is 18 years and above, if the will was made with free will and if that person was of sound mind. A will should also have a testators name, address and signature, a date, a revocation clause, legacies and devises (gifts of goods, real property or money), an executor appointing clause and a testimonial.
4. Make funeral arrangements.
a) Write how you want funeral to be held, that is to say, in form of a celebration or not.
b) How and where do your funeral will be handled by stating whether you want cremation or just a burial.
c) Write the funeral and memorial service you prefer.
d) Select your eulogists and specify if you want a religious convention or not.
e) Specify the kind of music and photographs or videos to be played.
f) Communicate any specific wishes you may have like the type of coffin you want and dress code.
g) Write down some personal letters to friends and family.
By following those steps, your end of life will be such a graceful and peaceful experience but do not forget to communicate about its existence to your loved ones or any representative of your choice.