Making Plans for Your Passing

Planning ahead for the one certain thing in your life can ensure that your end-of-life wishes are honored, while at the same time relieving your loved ones of the burdensome decisions that accompany death and dying.

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    Making Plans for Your Passing

    Making Plans for Your Passing

    Thinking about one’s death is difficult. But if you plan ahead for the one certain thing in your life, you can ensure that your end-of-life wishes are honored, and relieve your loved ones of the burdensome decisions that accompany death and dying at the same time.

    11 Ways to Plan Ahead

    1. Centralize important documents and contact information. This saves loved ones from having to search for the documents they may need to settle your estate. These documents may include property deeds, insurance policies and vehicle titles. Include a list of contact information on lawyers, financial advisors, insurance agents, etc. Place them in a home safe and let trusted family members know where they can be found, including the combination or key’s location.
    2. Create a list of passwords for your online accounts. Passwords are always being changed, so this list will need to be updated regularly. Consider LastPass or 1Password, which stores all your passwords and make it available to your executor or trusted family member.
    3. Make sure you have an updated last will, living will and financial Power of Attorney. Mayo Clinic has a detailed guide on creating an advanced directive, which can be found at com. Make copies of directives available to family members and your designated health care proxy.
    4. Consider a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability (HIPAA) authorization. This allows others to speak with your doctors or nurses about your condition.
    5. Make sure your beneficiaries are up to date. Ensure they are aware of all financial accounts, properties and insurance policies.
    6. Consider updating social media settings and allowances. Many social media platforms offer users options for managing your account after your death. Also consider what will happen with websites, blogs and other online activities in which you participate.
    7. Plan your final arrangements. This includes instructions (e.g., burial or cremation), making arrangements with a funeral home, payment for funeral expenses and any organ donation wishes.
    8. Dispose of things you wouldn’t want your heirs to discover. This might include an old high school diary, old medical records, letters or notes, etc.
    9. Have a talk with your loved ones. Let them know your decisions and why. A family that knows and understands such decisions will more likely honor them.
    10. Write your own obituary. This allows you to put your perspective on your life story in a way that others may not consider.
    11. Create a message for loved ones. Expressing your love and pride in those closest to you doesn’t always come easily. By creating a final message, you can provide your loved ones with a meaningful memory that will last a lifetime.

    While such conversations and considerations may be hard and saddening, the task to plan ahead truly allows those left behind the chance to fully grieve, accept the loss and cherish the good memories of a lifetime well spent.

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