1. Get comfortable about thinking about dying and death and what it will mean to you and your loved ones.
~ Pay attention to others dying process and death
~ Listen for what matters to you in their dying
~ Discuss your thoughts with friends, family, others
2. Keep your legal Estate Documents up to date and accurate
~ Trust, will, POA for $, Advance Directive, Medical Releases (HIPAA), POLST, other relevant documents
~ Review docs annually and revise every 5 years (if needed)
~ Talk to family about what your plans are and who plays a role. If you think there will be complications, consider utilizing a fiduciary as a neutral, independent professional.
3. Locate and note down – possessions, valuables, assets, the stuff of life
~ Put a house book together for each property you own - see next blog for info about what a house book is.
~ Valuable antiques, jewelry, art, etc. can be photographed, described - include appraisals, receipts, and who the item will go to
~ Give stuff away while you can enjoy others enjoying it
~ Create a list of items to give away and to whom & update
4. Get comfortable talking about End of Life wishes and after death wishes with family, friends, people who will be involved.
~ Tell your hopes and intention, wishes and wants
~ Ask for input and questions - These are YOUR decisions though!
~ Decide if you want funeral, memorial, cremation, burial, home funeral
~ Find out who does what in your community and note info.
~ Make arrangements and pay, if appropriate, if you are elder, ill, etc.
5. Think about how to make the process easier on those who will do the work
~ Look at your life and think about what all would need to be done
~ Consolidate and give away
~ Think about if you become incapacitated: what needs to be done, where do you want to live, who will make decisions. Ensure proper documents are in place.
Then go and enjoy life with a lighter step and the knowledge that you have done what you could.