4 End-of-Life Documents You Need to Have

Planning Ahead for Yourself & Your Family

Creating a comprehensive end of life plan may feel overwhelming, so we’ve broken down 4 critical documents that will help you get your affairs in order and help plan ahead for your family. While you may have thought about (or already written) your living will, there are a few other documents that are beneficial to have in place to help ease your loved ones’ stress and to make sure your medical and financial wishes are carried out.

  1. Durable General Power of Attorney
    A Power of Attorney is a document that allows you to appoint another person to act on your behalf. A General Power of Attorney allows the person you appoint (who is called your “agent”) to do almost anything with your assets or finances that you could do for yourself.
  2. Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care
    A Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care also allows you to appoint an agent to make decisions for you, but applies to health care decisions rather than financial decisions.
  3. Living Will
    A Living Will is an advance directive that makes your wishes known to your doctors and loved ones when you are no longer able to speak for yourself. A Living Will only applies in a very specific situation: when you have a terminal injury or illness, and you are unconscious, and it is highly unlikely that you will ever regain consciousness.
  4. Last Will and Testament
    A Last Will and Testament (also simply called a will) is a document that allows you to designate who will receive certain items of your property after you pass away.

It is important to remember that your Will may not cover all of your assets. Life insurance policies, retirement accounts, and some bank accounts have their own beneficiary designation forms that control where those assets will go after you pass away. You cannot change those beneficiary designations in your Will, but must change them directly through the company, using their forms.

To read this full article in our Spring 2022 edition of Atomic Health News, click here.