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Beginner’s Checklist for

End-of-Life Document Preparation

—Three Buckets of Paperwork

One of the most practical aspects of end-of-life preparation is the paperwork. But it can be overwhelming without the working knowledge of what this looks like on a concrete level.

Fortunately, it’s simpler than you might think. I have arranged them into what I call “The Three Buckets” of end-of-life paperwork.

end of life preparation, end of life doula, conscious dying, death and dying coach

Bucket #1: Advanced Life Directives (Living Will)

The first bucket involves crafting your Advanced Life Directives, also known as a Living Will.

This document speaks for you when you cannot speak for yourself, detailing your wishes for medical care if you are unable to make decisions due to illness or incapacity. It’s where you can appoint a healthcare proxy to ensure that your medical treatment aligns with your values and desires.

Think of it as a profound act of self-advocacy that provides peace of mind, knowing your healthcare preferences are clearly articulated and entrusted to someone you trust.

Bucket #2: After-Death Options

The second bucket addresses your After-Death Options.

This encompasses all choices related to how your body is to be cared for after passing. Do you prefer burial or cremation? Are there specific rituals or ceremonies you wish to be performed?

This bucket helps guide your loved ones in honoring your legacy in a manner that reflects your spirit and intentions, reducing the guesswork during a profoundly emotional time.

Bucket #3: Distribution of Assets

Lastly, we have the Distribution of Assets.

This is often formalized in a document such as a trust or a will, where you outline how you wish your physical and financial assets to be handled and distributed among heirs and charities. Beyond a will, this bucket can also include ensuring beneficiaries are updated on accounts like life insurance or retirement plans, and setting up any trusts if desired.

Proper attention to this bucket helps safeguard your estate and ensures that your material possessions support the people and causes you care about most.

Together, these three buckets form a comprehensive approach to end-of-life planning that not only secures your legacy but also provides clarity and support to those you will one day leave behind.

My advice? Start these conversations early, seek input from professionals where needed, and rest easier knowing that you have taken steps to ease the way for yourself and your loved ones.

If you’d like support with this, I have a 13-week End-of-Life Preparation Immersion Course happening this Fall from Autumn Equinox to Winter Solstice (Tuesdays from 12-2:15pm Eastern from 9/17/24 to 12/10/24). It’s a deep dive into Death Literacy, Empowerment, Conscious Dying Practice as well as a practical, emotional, spiritual and community building journey for folks of all ages and stages!

There are early registration prices until 5/31 and also half price options for previous participants. Info & Registration here.

End-of-Life Preparation Immersion Course:

Click here for my: 13-week End-of-Life Preparation Immersion Course information.

My free 7-day Email Mini-Course is available to enroll in here

Lee Warren

Death Educator
End-of-Life Preparation Coach
Caregiver Support Ally
Death & Dying Doula

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