Preparing for Your Own Death
Talking about death is often seen as taboo and often ignored until the very last minute or not at all, but understanding what you want (or what your loved one wants) can save you and them a lot of stress when the time comes to say goodbye.
Here are 8 things you can do to prepare for your death.
Wills and Estate Planning
We wrote about the importance of a will and it could be one of the most important documents you could have. It essentially a legal document that tells your family what you want done with your belongings and money when you die. Having a formal will and estate plan drawn up allows you to appoint executors to carry out your final wishes.
Power of Attorney
Nominating a power of attorney allows someone to make legal and financial decisions for you while you’re alive and if you are unable to make them on your own. Each state has its own forms, fees, and procedure to follow and if for example you are traveling overseas and not sick but need a document signed, you could have your power of attorney do it for you.
Enduring Guardianship Person
An enduring guardianship is a person who will be able to make medical and social decisions for you if you cannot. While your Power of Attorney can make financial decisions for you, your Enduring Guardianship cannot. Your Enduring Guardianship will make choices about your lifestyle, medical treatment or welfare.
Medical Treatment Plan
Here is where you can let your Enduring Guardianship know if you want a “Do Not Resuscitate” in place along with any advance care directive or palliative care. With your medical treatment plan you can be as detailed as you want with specific directives like “no life support”, “no feeding tubes”, and if you have specific emotional wishes too.
Donating Organs or Body to Science
Let your loved ones know what you’d like to do with your organs and or body after you have passed. You can donate your organs by registering at DonateLife.gov.au or you can donate your whole body to a university for teaching and research. Learn how to donate your body to science HERE.
While your will and estate planning handles the fruit of your labors and life, an emotional allows you to express your feelings about your loved ones. Maybe you want to let your child know an unspoken proud moment or to tell your nosy neighbour you liked the fact she was always there asking about your business (or not). An emotional will is not legal but just a way to get things off your chest if you have anything to say.
Do you want a party that celebrates your life or perhaps you want a small get together of loved ones sharing their favourite stories of you. You don’t have to plan it all, but you can give your loved ones a little guidance on how they can say goodbye to you.
Don’t forget to add your digital assets into your will and estate planning or create a digital assets will. Who gets your bitcoins? If you own a website, blog or social media accounts, who would you like to maintain them or close them?
Visit Advance Care Planning for more info in your specific state.
Any advice contained in this article is general in nature and does not take account of your particular objectives, personal circumstances or needs. If in dount about your own situatioin you should seek appropriate advice