The average life expectancy in the U.S. sits at right around 79 years old right now. If you’re starting to approach that age, you might want to consider putting together an end of life plan.
What is an end of life plan? Well, it’s basically a plan that outlines what you want to happen at the time of your death. End of life planning can provide you with peace of mind and ensure that your loved ones are able to deal with your death better than they would be able to otherwise.
Creating an end of life plan might not seem like a whole lot of fun. But it is something that you should put at the top of your to-do list once you begin to get up there in age.
We’ve compiled an end of life planning checklist for you below that should help you get started. Check it out to see which steps you should think about taking.
Make Decisions Regarding Resuscitation and Life Support
If your heart stops or if you stop breathing, there are certain techniques and devices that can be used to bring you back to life. Do you want these techniques and devices to be used to save your life?
You might think that everyone would say “yes!” to this. But there are some people who would prefer for health care professionals to avoid resuscitating them during a medical emergency. If you fall into this category, you’ll want to put resuscitation orders into place to prevent anyone from resuscitating you.
You should also think about whether or not you ever want to end up on life support. Some people would prefer not to be hooked up to life support machines if they’re not able to continue living on their own.
If you don’t want to be put onto life support, this is another thing that you’ll need to make a note of while doing end of life planning. You should also advise your family that you don’t wish to be put on life support at any time.
Consider Making Organ and Tissue Donations
When you die, do you want to donate your organs and/or your tissues to help others? You’re welcome to do it if you would like.
But if you’re going to donate your organs and/or tissues, you’re going to have to let it be known that you want to do this. If you don’t, your family might not take the necessary steps to complete the organ and tissue donation process.
Appoint a Health Care Power of Attorney
You can get a lot of your medical wishes on the record when you’re putting together your end of life plan. But there might still be some important decisions that will need to be made in regards to your health over time.
It’s why you should appoint someone close to you to serve as your health care power of attorney. This person should be someone that you trust to make informed decisions on the health care that you receive when you can’t make them for yourself.
Ideally, you should make your spouse, your sibling, or one of your children your health care power of attorney. But you can technically make it anyone that you feel like you can count on to make smart decisions for you.
Put Together a Last Will and Testament
You’ve probably racked up your fair share of assets over the course of your life. From your house to your car to your retirement fund, you’re going to need to decide what will happen to all of these assets when you’re not around anymore.
Some people choose to divvy up their assets among their beneficiaries. Others opt to donate their assets to charity.
You’re free to do whatever you want to do with your assets. But you will need to create a last will and testament so that they end up in the right hands when everything is all said and done.
An estate planning attorney can assist you with this and make sure that you have a last will and testament in place.
Appoint a Financial Power of Attorney and Beneficiaries
Just like you will need to appoint someone to be your health care power of attorney, you’ll also need to find someone who you can trust to be your financial power of attorney. This person is going to play a key role in carrying out the wishes that you make in your last will and testament.
Additionally, you’ll need to come up with a list of beneficiaries for your last will and testament. This will allow for the financial power of attorney to divide your assets up down the line.
Decide Between a Burial and a Cremation
Do you want to be buried or cremated when you die? For a long time, this was an easy answer for most people, as the majority of Americans used to choose to be buried.
But nowadays, the creation rate is rapidly rising as more and more people request to be cremated. It has made this a more difficult decision for people.
You should spend some time thinking about both methods of disposition before picking the one that you like the best. You might also want to kick around the idea of putting funeral plans into place for yourself so that your family doesn’t have to do it later on.
Coming Up With an End of Life Plan Is of the Utmost Importance
Some people put off coming up with an end of life plan because they don’t want to think about their own mortality. But you’ll be doing yourself a big disservice if you don’t create end of life planning documents.
An end of life plan will help your family to deal with your death so much more efficiently. It’ll also help you enjoy the final years of your life as opposed to stressing out over them.
Browse through the other informative articles found on our blog to get some more legal tips that will help you later on in life.