As we get older, we need to think more about our document storage. This article…
End of Life Preferences
Many people shy away from thinking about their own end of life preferences and planning. It can be hard to think about and even harder to talk to your loved ones about. This article will walk you through some of the important decisions you need to make and how you can communicate those with your loved ones for when the time comes.
Healthcare End of Life Preferences
An important place to start is considering how you want your medical care to be handled at the end of your life. These can be difficult decisions to make, but making your preferences known to your loved ones will help them know what to do in a serious situation.
If you are conscious and rational, then you can still make medical decisions for yourself. However, if you are incapacitated in some way and are no longer able to keep doing that, your healthcare power of attorney will be the one making important decisions about your medical care. They should be able to refer to your end of life preferences for how to proceed.
You should think about if or for how long you would accept relying on life-sustaining technology while unconscious. This can mean relying on a feeding tube or ventilator while your body is unable to manage on its own. For less urgent situations, you should also consider whether you would prefer continued medical care or if you would prefer transitioning to comfort-based hospice care.
In some situations, you may need more prolonged care. Would you prefer palliative care, hospice care, nursing home care, or in-home care? These are the types of both life-and-death and long-term situations you want your loved ones to be prepared to handle.
Sometimes, your preference will have to be overridden by cost or the appropriateness of the type of care for your condition. But articulating your preference clearly is always a valuable starting point for your power of attorney and other loved ones.
Although slightly less serious than health care, it’s important to consider your funeral preferences. Some people would prefer to have a traditional funeral service, while others opt for a more cheerful celebration of life. You should also consider other aspects of the ceremony. One will need to choose a funeral home for the service and indicate what flowers or music you would like. You can choose someone to read your eulogy at the service. You can also prepare your obituary in advance. Many funeral homes even allow you to pay in advance to relieve the financial burden from your family.
One of the biggest preferences you should indicate is what you would like to happen to your body after you die. More options exist now than in the past, so you should take the time to decide what seems best for you. These options all have varying costs and requirements attached to them. You should make your decision based on your own values and preferences and then make it clear to your loved ones.
If you choose a traditional burial, you’ll need to also specify your preference for a casket, a burial place, and a grave marker. Other options include cremation or a green burial. You can also choose to donate your body to a medical school for education. Or you can choose to donate your organs and tissues to those in need of transplants or other life-saving treatments.
These are all decisions your loved ones will have to make on their own if you don’t leave behind directions for them. Without guidance, it can be difficult for loved ones to know they’re making the best choices or doing what you would have wanted. The uncertainty can lead to disagreement and confusion among your family. To avoid unnecessary stress after your death, list out your funeral preferences for your family and begin making the preparations for it in advance.
Financial End of Life Preferences
Don’t forget about your financial accounts and portfolios. While these might seem more straightforward, your loved ones will still have to make decisions about them after you die.
These can include who you would like to inherit your property, valuable possessions, and remaining funds. All of this information should be included in your last will and testament. That way your family has an official source to reference for when the time comes.
You’ll also want to keep in mind any investment portfolios or other financial assets you may have. Without clear directives from you in your will, your family will have to make tough decisions. The state will also become responsible for handling your affairs.
To make sure your money, property, and accounts end up in the hands of whom you choose, create a will and keep it updated. Also, choose and communicate with your financial power of attorney. This will be the person managing your financial affairs after your death, you want to be sure they understand your end of life preferences.
My Family Documents: Organizing Your End of Life Preferences
Now that you’ve begun to consider your end of life health care, funeral, and financial preferences, it’s time to think about how you’re going to store them. Many people think it’s best to stow away their important documents where they’re difficult to find to keep them safe. Unfortunately, this disorganization often leads to confusion and frustration among the loved ones left behind.
My Family Documents offers a secure storage tool as a solution to disorganized personal documents. With My Family Documents, you can easily store all your important information in one secure place. Other internet-based options aren’t as secure and charge annual fees to access your information. My Family Documents charges a single one-time payment for more secure, life-long storage.
My Family Documents helps you organize your important documents like your will, financial statements, account passwords, and insurance information. Along with other critical documents your loved ones will need to honor your end of life preferences. All your information will be organized and encrypted in a USB flash drive. Make sure your loved ones know where you store it. When the time comes, they will be able to access everything they need to manage your affairs.
Starting the conversation with your loved ones about your end of life preferences is important. Or, at least getting your preferences written out, is essential. With My Family Documents, you and your family will be able to enjoy peace of mind. Your preferences will be conveniently and securely stored. It might be difficult to think about your end of life wishes. Start preparing now to help your loved ones make the decisions you want down the line.