It’s not always easy to think about the end of our lives. In a perfect world, we would all make it to old age and die gracefully in our sleep. In reality, there is no way to predict when our time will come. In the meantime, we can ask key questions about death to prepare ourselves and our loved ones.
Creating a death or end-of-life planning folder is the best way to make sure you’re ready for anything life brings your way. From understanding medical decisions to naming someone you trust to execute your estate, these are important answers to have sooner rather than later.
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Luckily, it’s never been easier to make a free death or end-of-life planning folder. With so many free online tools like Cake, making these decisions and sharing them is as simple as taking 15 minutes to complete an online profile. Let’s explore how to get started.
What Goes Into Death or End-of-Life Planning?
While it sounds intimidating, it’s simple to start death or end-of-life planning for yourself or a loved one. Death planning is the practice of answering key end-of-life questions about final arrangements, medical decisions, caretaking, and your final resting place.
There are several different parts of end-of-life planning:
- Advance health care: Advance health care involves decisions about your medical preferences and who will make decisions on your behalf if you’re unable to make them for yourself.
- Power of attorney: When you assign someone power of attorney, they can act on your behalf for medical, legal, or financial matters depending on the specific agreement.
- Estate planning: Estate planning involves writing a will, sharing documents, and naming an executor to carry out final legal and financial affairs.
- Guardianship: If you have minor children or pets, who will take care of them if you die?
- Caretaking: What is important to you when it comes to in-home care, a nursing facility, or assisted living?
- Digital afterlife: How can your loved ones access your accounts and digital assets when you’re no longer here? How do you want to be remembered online and on social media?
- Funeral planning: Last but not least, what final wishes do you have about your final resting place, burial, funeral, and so on.
This might seem like a lot to worry about, but it’s easy once you get started. You’ll quickly realize that there is a lot of overlap between these different questions and concerns. By taking the first step, the rest becomes much simpler.
Better yet, there are many online tools for completing legal estate planning online. With Trust & Will, for example, you can easily create a legal will, estate plan, and guardianship plan online in seconds for a fraction of the cost of working with an in-person attorney.
Whether you’re preparing for the death of a parent or just thinking ahead for yourself, it’s important to be ready for anything life throws your way. While everyone will have a slightly different end-of-life plan to reflect their own preferences, it’s important to have these difficult conversations.
How to Use the Death Planning Template
To use the end-of-life planning template, simply download it using the form below—it’s free. From there, you can print or save your document. Feel free to edit it to include additional documents and steps that make sense for your situation.
Share this list with your loved ones so they can stay prepared, as well. Planning together makes the process easier and more accessible to everyone. When gathering documents, be sure to secure them in a safe, easy-to-find location. A folder or document organizer works great, but you can also use a digital storage tool.
Last but not least, talk to your friends and family about your decisions, what they mean to you, and what to do in the future.
The death planning template is only the first step. When putting everything together, you’ll also need to decide how you’ll share this information securely with friends and family. The more you can share with those you love, the more prepared everyone will be.
A Cake profile is a perfect solution. It’s easy and free to create a Cake profile, and the platform guides you through the process of planning your final wishes, arrangements, and documents. You can make the most of this tool with these tips:
- Share with loved ones: Be sure to share your Cake profile with friends and family. As you complete things on your death planning checklist, add these documents and decisions to your sharable profile.
- Encourage others: This is also an important reminder to encourage others in your life to take an active role in their own end-of-life planning. When you all start this journey together, it’s easier for everyone.
- Upload documents: Once you’ve created your Cake profile, you can easily upload documents from your death planning template to your account. Everything you upload to Cake is safe and secure, and this is a great way to share these essentials with loved ones.
- Update your preferences regularly: Most importantly, end-of-life planning isn’t a one-and-done process. Make sure you update your Cake profile and review your documents at least once a year to make sure they reflect your wishes.
It’s easy to share your preferences in your Cake profile with those you trust. From there, let them know that you’ve chosen to share these preferences with them so they can save them just in case.
Create Your Free End-of-Life Plan
This free death planning template helps you navigate the many different parts of your mortality. No matter how healthy we are, nobody is invincible. Planning for the future is the best gift you can give yourself and your loved ones.
To create your free end-of-life plan, download the template above, and sign up for a free Cake profile. From there, consider what end-of-life planning means to you and your goals. How do you want to be remembered?
Planning for your end-of-life means reducing the burden on loved ones when it matters most. It also means gaining a deeper understanding and appreciation for your own mortality. Everyone’s time will come eventually. The more prepared you are for uncertainty, the more confident you’ll feel about your own life.