7 End-of-Life Documents You Need to Create

“The more sand that has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.”

Jean-Paul Sartre

There is wisdom gained as we slowly trade youth for old age. The lessons, experience, and maturity that begin to enrich our lives are compensation for letting go of the vivacity of youth. Many of us find that, though becoming elderly isn’t for the faint of heart, it holds its own hidden blessings.

But as you grow older, it becomes more and more tempting to be anxious or preoccupied with the end of your life – what it will look like, if you’ll get sick, who will take care of you, etc.

It makes sense; you’ve never done this before, and no matter what experience anyone else has, the end of your life will be your own. Though you might not have certainty about the details of your last days or know what death will look like, you can have more control than you think by creating some end-of-life documents that will help direct your course and express your wishes.

end of life documents

The Right End of Life Documents Will Give You Peace of Mind

It can be so much easier to enjoy your elderly years if you know you have a plan in place ensuring that everything will be taken care of. The end of life documents we’ve listed and briefly described below will give you the peace of mind that:

  • You will be properly cared for
  • The right people will be making decisions for you and your estate
  • Your family and close friends will know what to do
  • Anyone you love will know exactly what you wanted to say or pass on to them

7 Important End-of-Life Documents:

Some of these documents are official, legally binding end-of-life documents, while others are more personal and outside the court’s domain. However, we believe they’re each necessary to a cohesive and complete estate plan that will be best for you and your family.

  • POA: A power of attorney is a legal document that gives a person of your choosing the authority to make legal and financial decisions on your behalf if you become unable to do so yourself.
  • AMD: An advance medical directive is a legal document that gives someone of your choosing the ability to make healthcare decisions in the event you become incapable of making them for yourself.
  • Last Will and Testament: Your will is a legal document stating how you wish your assets and property to be distributed at your death, and who will receive custody of any or your minor children.
  • Ethical Will: Ethical wills are made up of documents that communicate your legacy and last wishes. Though they don’t transfer physical assets, they are paramount to imparting what your life meant to both the world and the people closest to you once you’re gone.
  • Gifts and Memories List: The gifts and memories list is also sometimes referred to as a personal property memorandum. This document is where you’ll assign specific personal items to be given to certain people after your death.
  • Inventory List: Your inventory list includes the details of all kinds of things your executor and next of kin may need to know at your time of death, like where different accounts are located, computer passwords, who to contact for help with your estate, etc.
  • Any record of other ways assets will be transferred: If you’ve used some other type of estate planning to transfer your assets at death, such as a trust or beneficiary designations, you’ll need an organized record of those things so your executor will know how to administer your estate.

These Documents Work Best In A Relational Estate Plan

A relational estate plan causes you to think beyond your money and assets. It’s about ending well and leaving your loved ones in the best position possible. With these documents, you’ll be able to give direction in your final days and after your death, which will ensure your care and be an enormous help to your family.

(Want to learn more about a relational estate planning philosophy? Click here.)

We believe that although each of our futures are uncertain, our peace of mind doesn’t need to be.  

Click here to request your free estate planning consultation, so we can begin discussing how to tailor end-of-life documents to you and your individual needs.


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