Our 5-Step Final Wishes Checklist
At some point, everyone will pass away, which is why it’s so important to live life to the fullest. But while you don’t always get to choose how you’ll go, you can make plans for the details. By completing a final wishes checklist well before the time comes, you can help your family ensure they, as well as your legacy, are honored after you’re gone.
You can complete this process in five simple steps:
- Develop your advanced directive
- Prepare your last will and testament
- Draft your funeral plans
- Write your ethical will
- Talk to your family
The more you take care of in the present, the less your family will have to do in the future, which gives them more time to grieve and appreciate your life in the best way possible.
1. Develop Your Advanced Directive
Think of this as “end-of-life care planning.” Also known as a “living will,” your advanced directive involves decisions about your body in your last few days of life and the first few days after you pass, including:
- Health decisions
- Do you want to receive hospice or palliative care?
- Do you want to receive life-sustaining treatment?
- Do you want to be resuscitated?
- Financial decisions
- Who will pay your bills?
- Who will attend to your estate?
- Funeral decisions
- Do you want to be buried or cremated?
- Do you want to be an organ donor?
- Do you want to donate any of your body to science?
2. Prepare Your Last Will and Testament
You might not be a multi-millionaire, but you have an estate to take care of, and that starts with creating a last will and testament, which includes:
- Physical assets
- Financial assets
- Digital life
While you can use online services as a guide, we encourage you to speak with real-life legal and financial professionals about this step.
3. Draft Your Funeral Plans
Yes, you can plan your own funeral! It can include several or all the following in your preparations:
- Type of ceremony
- Who you want to attend
- Where you want the ceremony
- Your preferred decor
- The food, drinks, and more
- Any music you want to be played
- Any video or multimedia
- The people giving speeches
- The officiant
- Any readings you want
- The pallbearers
It’s better that you make plans now than give your grieving family something else to do after you pass.
4. Write Your Ethical Will
Often called a “legacy letter,” this document can be thought of as a last will and testament for your ethical life, as it can contain, but not be limited to, the following:
- Personal messages and wishes
This is your chance to leave one last note for your loved ones that they can treasure forever.
5. Talk to Your Family
You’ve done a lot of preparation so far, but it’s essential that you share these last wishes with the most important people in your life long before you pass away.
- Set a specific time and place
- Create a calm environment
- Be clear and direct about your wishes
- Address their concerns and fears
- Have a specific place for your documents
Remember that you are doing this to first protect yourself and second to help them in your time of shared need.
Why Do I Need to Bother with My Final Wishes?
The answer is simple: because it’s your life.
If you pay any attention to planning your life now, then doing so for the end of your life and after you pass away should make sense. It’s essential that you make preparations now because you might not get to do it later.
And if thinking about death and dying is uncomfortable – which we do understand – then focus on the organizational aspects. By collecting all of these important documents, forms, and decisions now, you can rest easy knowing that preparing for the future is the right thing to do.
At The Postage, we provide a secure and seamless online platform where you can store the most important parts of your life, plan for the future, and share information like your final wishes with trusted delegates.