The Importance of End-of-Life Planning

June 10, 2021 11:42 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

It can be understandably difficult to think about your own mortality, or to convince your aging parents to begin their own end-of-life planning. It’s not exactly an uplifting subject, and nobody wants to spend much time considering what happens to them as they reach the end of their life and what happens to their possessions after they pass.

But as difficult as it is, it’s also quite necessary. If you wish to maintain control over your healthcare decisions and dictate how your estate is administered, you must take appropriate action to ensure your affairs are settled.

Here’s an overview of some of the most important aspects of end-of-life planning.

Developing a living will and listing your medical wishes

A living will is a type of legal document in which you provide instructions to your loved ones (and/or your chosen healthcare proxy/agent) about the decisions you wish to make at the end of your life. The instructions you leave represent your wishes in a range of scenarios to provide important instructions to your chosen agent so they do not have to make difficult decisions alone.

Speaking of your agent (or proxy), this person is your designated representative to make healthcare decisions on your behalf. The more instruction you leave them the better, so they do not have to guess what your wishes would be in a given scenario.

You can, for example, leave Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders to specify when you do or do not wish to receive life-sustaining measures. You can also employ Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (MOLST) to outline the wishes you have at the end of your life if you are in a situation in which you cannot make those decisions yourself.

Financial decisions

In addition to considering your healthcare and medical wishes, you should also make certain financial decisions. For example, naming a durable power of attorney ensures you will have someone who can make financial decisions on your behalf when you become unable to do so.

Use your will to determine how you will distribute your assets upon your death. A living trust is another beneficial estate planning tool, as it holds title to property and funds for your beneficiaries. All property held by the living trust bypasses the probate process, saving both time and money.

Other end-of-life considerations

There are other end-of-life issues you should also consider. These include:

  • Organ donor: Do you wish to be an organ donor? You can list this on your driver’s license, or fill out and carry an organ donation card.
  • Information storage: Make sure all of your important information about your estate is available in a single, readily accessible location, such as a fireproof safe. Give trusted relatives and your estate representative the combination for the safe. Documents should include insurance policies, account information, Social Security card, birth certificates, passports, internet account passwords, mortgage information, asset titles and more.

To learn more about end-of-life planning, its importance and how to get started, reach out to Marik-Baken Funeral Services Ltd.

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