It doesn’t matter if you are 22 or 92, putting your affairs in order for the end of your life is an integral part of being a responsible adult. Not only will handling this yourself ensure that your wishes are known and followed, it removes the burden of making these difficult decisions from your loved ones. Here are four end-of-life arrangements you need to make in advance.
Division of Property
Whether it’s a mansion full of priceless heirlooms or a studio apartment full of Ikea, you should make a record of what you would like to happen to your worldly possessions at the end of your life. If you know certain items should go to specific people, make a list. Alternatively, you could write that you would like your family and friends to choose what they would like to keep and donate the rest to a favorite charity. Other people simply name one person to inherit everything and then do with it as they will.
Medical Wishes and DNRs
Some people do not wish to be kept alive by artificial means such as a breathing apparatus or feeding tube. Others want to limit the time spent on such machines to a time frame they feel is reasonable. Still others object to specific medical interventions such as organ transplants or blood transfusions. Write down your wishes in an much detail as you can, talk about them with your friends and family, and make sure you designate a single person to make the decisions for you if you are incapacitated.
Your Earthly Remains
Do you want your body donated to science, or do you want laid to rest in a private cemetery in San Francisco? Do you want to be cremated, or do you just want your family to do what they think is best? Some people have religious or moral objections to certain types of burial or have certain requirements that must be met. Think about what you want and write it down.
Tombstones used to be the expected memorial for the dead, but now other options are available. Some may like a tree planted in their name, or have their name on a plaque in a public garden. Give some thought to how you would like to leave your mark on the world and record your wishes.
Thinking about your own death is never easy. However, knowing what you would like to happen and writing it down can make things easier for your loved ones when the time comes.