While you know it’s important to start planning ahead for the many end-of-life decisions you need to make, and may even have already prepared a written will or pre-planned your memorial service, there may still be some things you have overlooked when making your end-of-life preparations.
When the end is drawing near (or better yet, well before that time comes), you may want to review this list of four things to be sure you’ve got your house, your relationships, and yourself in order.
1. Making Your Palliative Care Plan
Palliative care is the support that helps you and your family cope with your current condition, prepare for death, and receive support during bereavement. The goal of palliative care is to maximize the benefits of your treatment so you can live as well as possible until your time comes.
Palliative care can encompass:
- Self-help and social support
- Caregiver involvement
- Psychological support
- Symptom control and complementary therapies
- Spiritual support
Making a palliative care plan will help you remain in control as your end-of-life preparations are respected and carried out.
2. Creating Your Digital Will and Documenting Your Digital Resources and Passwords
A written will is a great tool for arranging your assets and investments when you pass away, but creating a digital will may be even more helpful, especially if:
- You have a significant online presence.
- Your significant other will need to manage online bills.
- You manage your financial assets online.
- You run your own business online.
Documenting each online account will make it much easier for your spouse, attorney, trustee, or estate executor to have access to the online information you have left behind. Some websites allow you to activate a “Digital Heir” or an “Inactive Account Manager” for giving access and handling accounts after death, so you may want to use that option.
Important information you should document include:
- Usernames and passwords
- PIN codes and voicemail codes for your mobile devices
- WiFi passcodes
- Bank account numbers and PINs
- Loyalty memberships and card numbers
- Recurring subscriptions
- Medical IDs and insurance numbers
Rather than write everything down, you may find it easier to set up a Password Manager to collect and organize all of this information in one secure place.
3. Carrying on Your Legacy Project
A legacy project is a powerful statement about life, living, and learning. Creating something meaningful and passing it on helps you live in the present and is a great way to leave a bit of your hard-earned wisdom in the world you left behind.
Legacy projects can take on many different forms, none of which are any better or worse. Anything that is personal and meaningful to you and your loved ones will do.
Here are a few examples:
- Writing or recording thoughts and stories
- Photo albums
- Family cookbook
- Works of art
- Sewing a quilt
- Creating/completing your family tree
- Planting a flower bed or grove of trees
- Making a charitable contribution
4. Mentally Preparing Yourself and Your Loved Ones for Death
Preparing for death can be frightening and deeply sad. For this reason, taking some time to mentally prepare yourself and your loved ones for death can help ease some of the fear and pain. While this topic can be difficult to discuss, getting real and making some final emotional connections can drastically help.
Have conversations with your doctors, with your friends, and with each family member. Don’t leave any emotional business unfinished. Tell your story. Accomplish together any final goals or wishes.
Running through this list of to-dos is not merely a formality. In fact, having a list of items to work through together with your loved ones can be both unifying and comforting. Though hard, having something to do will help with the acceptance of death, can offer a sense of control where there may be little or none, and will begin the healing process for all those involved.
If you and your family want more guidance on making end-of-life decisions or assistance with end-of-life planning, contact Bunker Family Funeral today and we will offer our knowledge and experience.