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Top 10 Documents to Prepare Before You Pass

Its not easy to think about the end of our lives, but being prepared can make all the difference.

It's not easy to think about the end of our lives, but being prepared can make all the difference. We all have heard stories of loved ones who passed without sharing important details about their finances and legal documents, leaving their families in a difficult situation. Unfortunately, this is an all-too-common occurrence, and many families are caught off guard and overwhelmed during an already emotional time.

The good news is that we can take steps to alleviate this burden on our loved ones. While it can be a challenging subject to discuss, a little organization can go a long way. Here are some practical and compassionate steps you can take to prepare yourself or a loved one for end-of-life arrangements:

Step One: Collect Important Documents

Begin by gathering all critical papers and making copies of any important legal documents. Start by collecting the following:

List of 10 Documents to Prepare Before You Pass

This list is just the beginning. Make sure to do a careful evaluation of anything else you might need to include that is specific to you or your family. When you’ve compiled everything, keep these papers in a safe and accessible location.

Step Two: Let Someone Know

Make sure to let a trusted family member, friend, or lawyer know where these essential documents are located in case of an emergency. By doing so, you ensure that your loved ones do not have to deal with the added pressure of searching for vital information during an emotional time.

Step Three: Select an Authorizing Agent

Select an agent who will have the legal authority to handle your affairs if you are unable to do so yourself. It’s important to designate this person yourself while you’re able, so your family doesn’t have to decide later.

Step Four: Compile Relevant Information

In addition to the essential documents, collect other important information:

  • Contact information for your attorney, insurance broker, and doctor
  • Miscellaneous details like garage door codes or hidden spare keys
  • Pet medical records and vet contact information

Including any information you think your family might need can help avoid future difficulties and stress. A general rule of thumb is to include anything you think your family might need. It won’t hurt to have too much information, but missing information can cause difficulty and stress down the road.

By taking all of these steps, you can save your loved ones time, energy, and the potential angst of having to track down information during an already challenging time.

Best Practice is to Plan Ahead

Planning ahead and expressing your preferences can provide even further relief for your loved ones. By taking control and planning your own arrangements, you can make your wishes known and ensure that they are carried out. 

Express your preferences for:

  • Burial or cremation
  • The type of funeral service you desire
  • Any donations you'd like made in your name
  • Personal touches you want included in the ceremony

Afterall is here to help you make the process of pre-planning and decision-making as easy as possible. Find a nearby location here. Our compassionate and knowledgeable team is dedicated to offering support at each step of the way and answering any questions or concerns you may have. We understand that this is an emotional and sensitive subject, and we will provide you with the care that you deserve. To learn more about end-of-life planning, take a look at our article about preparing your finances.

We hope that these steps will help you begin the process of preparing end-of-life arrangements and alleviate the worry and uncertainty that comes along with such a critical time. Don't hesitate to reach out to us today if you need any help with the process. We are here to help you every step of the way.