What End of Life Documents Do I Need?
Wills, trusts, powers of attorney—there are a million documents, both legal and personal, that you need to think of when planning for end-of-life care. Here’s a quick and handy guide listing end of life documents you and your loved ones should have on-hand and online.
End of Life Documents #1: Health Care Advance Directive
This document provides instructions about your health care wishes. It usually includes:
- Living Will: a document where you state your preferences for medical treatment in the case of your incapacitation.
- Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care: this document gives legal authority to another person to make healthcare decisions for you if you become unable to make decisions for yourself. This person is your health care proxy. You can include instructions or guidelines for these decisions and should be sure to have a conversation with your proxy. This document helps your family avoid any stress over who should make decisions in an emergency.
End of Life Documents #2: Durable Power of Attorney
Similar to the durable power of attorney for health care, this document gives legal authority to another person to manage your loved one’s affairs, including personal and financial affairs, if your loved one becomes unable to make these decisions for themselves. Instructions on how affairs should be handled can be included in this document.
End of Life Documents #3: Last Will and Testament
It is a document in which you name a person or people (executor) to manage the distribution of your property after you’ve passed.
End of Life Documents #4: Trust
It is an arrangement where a person or institution (the Trustee) holds the title to property or assets for the benefit of other people (the Beneficiaries). Trusts may be useful for lifetime management of substantial assets.
End of Life Documents #5: Medical Records
You should have a record of your medical condition(s) handy. In addition, you should store your Medicare and/or Medicaid identification number and card, insurance policies, and a list of the medications you’re taking (with dosages) available for easy access.
End of Life Documents #6: Letter of Instructions or Final Wishes
It is a non-legal document that you can create so that your wishes are known to your executor and family members. This typically contains information on burial wishes, cremation wishes, organ donation wishes and so on.
Vital Statistics Documents
There are a number of other documents that are helpful to have on hand in preparation for an end-of-life event. You can use Jazmine to collect these documents and keep them stored, safe, and shareable for when you or your loved one needs them. These documents include your:
- Birth certificate
- Social security card
- Life insurance Policy
- Long-term Care Insurance
- Mortgage and Rental Documents
- Utility Bills
- Car insurance and car title
- Bank records
- Credit card information
- Passwords and online account information
- List of assets and debts
- List of Household Bills
- Federal and State Tax Returns
- Bank or financial planner contact information
- Power of attorney
- Pre-paid burial trust or contract
Remember, Jazmine can help you organize all of these documents and keep them safely stored online.
We suggest you review and update this information annually or whenever you change your wishes.