Most people really don?t like to think about making a will. They don?t like talking about a DNR (do not resuscitate order). And they really don?t like to talk about planning a funeral. But it is advised that ALL people plan for these events, and when you live alone or become terminally ill, these items become even more urgent.
While dealing with the emotional stress and the medical decisions of a serious illness, you still have to manage other logistics. Though troubling, these issues really should be dealt with now so that you or your loved ones don?t have to deal with them later. Don?t let time run short. Get everything in order now, the way you want it.
The following is a list of items you will want to take care of to get your affairs in order:
Making Out a Last Will and Testament
Over 50% of the adults in the United States do not have a last will and testament. However, it?s necessary even if you don?t have anything to divide among your loved ones. Those who pass away without a last will and testament leave their family to deal with probate court while they are still grieving.
Drawing up a last will and testament may not be difficult for some individuals, but it is always best to consult an experienced attorney to help you write it. The cost for creating the will with proper legal documentation is sure to be less expensive than the mistakes that might otherwise result from trying to do it yourself.
An advanced directive is also known as a living will. It dictates what you want done, or not done, when it comes to making decisions to prolong your life. This is where the DNR comes in. It is a very important and legally binding document that should be properly prepared to state your wishes.
Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care
When you designate someone to be your power of attorney for health care, this does not mean that you give up any power to make your own decisions. But there may come a point when you cannot speak for yourself. The person entrusted to speak on your behalf should have a copy of your advance directive and know your specific wishes regarding the kinds of lifesaving measures you do and do not want. Your lawyer can help you draft this document.
Financial Power of Attorney
Creating a durable power of attorney for your finances is highly recommended for everyone with income or property. It is particularly important if you are worried that looming health problems could impair your abilities to manage your own financial matters.
A durable power of attorney will make sure that someone you trust will be assigned to manage the numerous practical, financial responsibilities that are expected to arise if you become unable to handle them yourself. For example, deposits must be made to the bank so that bills can be paid. Someone must also handle your benefits and insurance paperwork. Other matters that will likely need attention include managing investments and handling repairs to property. A durable power of attorney, in most cases, is the most highly recommended solution for taking care of such financial matters.
Instructions for Your Funeral or Memorial Service
When a loved one passes away, the grieving family members must often think very quickly about funeral plans. In the immediate aftermath of death, it can be very difficult to focus on these details. When getting your affairs in order, sit down with someone you trust and write down all the things that are important to you about your funeral, memorial service, and whether you want to be buried or cremated. You may also enlist the help of a funeral home of your choice to get these things prepared.
This will save your loved ones the stress of having to make these types of decisions themselves. And when they know that your wishes are being fulfilled, it can encourage a greater sense of peace about your passing.