When we think about what we need to have in place before we die we often think all we need is a Living Will. But there are other documents you can have completed to help ensure your family has what they need to carry out your wishes. Having these in place can take some of the stress off of them in case they aren’t sure what you would have wanted. Here are the things that would be best to have in place:
- Living Will – Having a Living Will will guide your family and doctors in the event of a medical emergency where you aren’t able to communicate. This will cover things like organ donation, mechanical ventilation, resuscitation and more. A DNR or Do Not Resuscitate Order should also be on hand if you don’t wish for medical personnel to resuscitate you or give any life sustaining treatments.
- Medical Power of Attorney – This is a person you want to make decisions about medical care for you if you aren’t able to communicate and make decisions on your own.
- Organ Donation – You should register as an organ donor if you want to donate your organs and tissues after you pass.
- Will – This document will let everyone know how you want to divide your assets and possessions after you pass. It will also name a person you choose to be the executor and can have your final wishes such as funeral arrangements, cremation, burial, etc. This is also sometimes called a Last Will and Testament.
- Living Trust – This is an estate document that plans out which assets you’d like to have in a trust and who should receive those assets. Or where, if you want to distribute funds to a charity. This can save beneficiaries tax fees.
- Financial Power of Attorney – This is a person you’d like to have help manage any financial aspects of your life after you pass.
- Military Discharge Papers – If you served in the military and were honorably discharged, you may be eligible for some benefits such as a reimbursement towards a cremation or burial, a government headstone or marker, a United States flag, or even a Presidential Memorial Certificate. Having these Military Discharge Papers will save your family a step and some time.
- Appointment of Representative Form – In Ohio, this form appoints a person to be in charge of whether or not you are cremated or buried, designate who is paying for the services and with what money, and allows them to make decisions about other funeral arrangements.
- Funeral Plan – If you have thoughts on what you’d like to have at your ceremony or funeral, write those down. This can give family peace of mind when they’re not exactly sure what you would have wanted. Some people write their obituaries, or things they’d like to include in them, choose the music they’d like at a ceremony, let the family know where they’d like some of their ashes to be scattered, and anything else you think of that is important to you.
Once you have these things completed you’ll have peace of mind knowing you’ve taken a burden off of your family in having to make so many decisions on your behalf when you’re unable to. It is a great way to show your family you were thinking of them even after you’re gone.
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