This is not about medical health but rather arrangements to leave this earth in some fashion for the persons left to easily tend to all the assets
possessions and special desires. What are people doing to prepare while good and sound mentally?
Not really meant to be morbid. More practical.
Do they notify ahead in writing? Etc.etc.
To avoid any confusion with my belongings should I die unexpectedly, I've listed what I want done with various items that family members and friends don't want and suggestions on how to proceed with the unwanted items. I've also noted I want pictures and videos of me on my computers and phone to be saved, crucial passwords written in my phone notes to be written down, designated certain items to beneficiaries and what to do if the beneficiaries aren't interested in what they're slated to get from me, and noted the items I want kept in the family no matter what (i.e. pictures, class ring, diplomas).
As for who would be in charge of my estate in the event of an untimely death, I haven't fully decided. Unless I were to get married, I would let my mom be the executrix. I'll have her inherit the things that are typically in a will and can't be listed on a memorandum. If she was unable or unwilling, I would tap my oldest brother and have him be the executor.
After I lost my dad, I told my mom I want to be buried and not cremated. I did it to note that I have a preference and to avoid confusion on what to do with my remains. I asked her what she prefers and she told me she prefers to be buried. I tried to get her to tell me what she wants done with her things, but she refuses and tells me she she's uncomfortable talking about things associated with death. However, I have asked her about the origins of various things in the house so I know where they came from and have an idea on what things are family heirlooms and what things I can part with when she goes. In the end, I don't want to find myself accidentally selling or giving away something that's been in the family for generations.
I will say this regarding others who chimed in. Huge props to all of you for being well prepared when it's time to kick the bucket.
I even have a section on Elder Care, where I would prefer to live [which wouldn't be at home or anyone's home for that matter] but live in a senior facility.
In plastic sleeves, I have my car titles, Birth Certificate, Deed to the house which is part of a Trust, even a very old Final Divorce Decree just in case something weird happens, which I doubt.
Both you and Fawnby gave me other ideas of what else to include.
Last time I had my Will done it was a whole 'nuther life.
I was caring for my Husband, I was his Guardian.
Since I was dealing with a law firm that knew what was going on I had them do my Will. I made sure that he would be taken care of if something happened to me.
Now I do not have that worry.
I do need to redo my Will and set up Trusts so that hopefully Probate will be avoided.
I also plan on prepaying my Funeral. If anyone wants to add on extras that is on them.
Thanks to my Mother in Law (never met her, I wish I had) cemetery plots have been bought and paid for so I do not have to deal with that.
Everything would be made much easier if I could get my darned Crystal Ball working so I know how much time I have to do all this in. Particularly because I want to be able to do some things and if I knew how much I could spend on "fun stuff" before the "sucky stuff" rears it's ugly head I could plan better.
(I do have LTC insurance so that eases my mind a bit, and I plan on aging in place as I have the perfect house to do so)
I will have a sit down talk with my sister and s-daughter so that they are aware of plans that I have and any questions can be answered.
Dad passed 18 years ago, Mom, 5 months.
All we had to do for mom was take her clothing to the mortuary & dress her. Choose flowers and give them an obituary to print. Mom had preplanned her entire service, and all the people she wanted involved were able to do what she'd asked.
This left us kids with time and energy to handle this somewhat-unexpected death.
My YB was her executor and was able to close out the estate in 3 months. He said it was pretty painless.
We've done the same for our estate. We do need to update it this year, and we are going to buy the niches for our columbariums also. I have written my 'obit' and Dh needs to at least make a couple of decisions about his.
Keeping up our trust and letting the POA's know what is expected of them is something we simply DO--I am baffled by people who refuse to make any plans, like if they DO, then they're planning to die. Well--shocker--we are all going to die and I personally don't want my kids cursing my name b/c I didn't leave them with any power or idea of what I want.
Our OD is our executor, currently, that may change, but as of now, she is OK with it. I've actually written her a $20K check so she can get funds at the 'start' if she needs to.
TALKING about it is what ADULTS do. No, it's not fun--but it's a terrific gift for your kids/family. I appreciated that mom and dad told us what they wanted and we were comfortable doing just that.
Even a will written on a downloaded form from the computer is OK. Just do SOMETHING to let your family know what you want. It's not really about you, once you've passed, it's about THEM and the stress they will encounter.
Think of it as a final "I love you" to your 'heirs'.
I've divided into categories information that my children will need if I'm incapacitated or dead. I made a table of contents:
1 - Location of bank info and how to manage it. What bills are on autopay and from what account.
2 - Pictures of forms like Medicare card, Social Security card, driver's license.
3 - How to run my household, pay bills, find my online passwords. Door codes.
4 - How to prepare and file my taxes.
5 - Military info and how to access benefits.
6 - Will, POA, MPOA, DNR order, signed and notarized if necessary.
7 - Funeral plans and prepaid receipts for contract, disposition of remains, obituary, contact people or cancellation (auto insurance, subscriptions) upon death. Pictures for online obit. Cemetery info.
8 - How to dispose of my things, suggestions for selling or giving away valuable items. Estate agents who can help. Where to find valuable items.
9 - My preferences for type of care facilities for memory, AL, IL, rehab or staying at home. Resources for finding geriatric care.
i can print it in its entirety to make a booklet, but my children are computer savvy so they have copies on their computers. Also, if I make changes, I can update their info with a click of a button.
This is what I would have liked when dealing with my parents' death.
So just think as tho it were you. What would you need to know if you were dealing with you.
As to "things" I have given away most already that are family history, torn down photo albums and wrapped photos so they can be looked at and tossed or kept. Stickers on the bottom of items with names, and etc.
So it can be FUN, actually, if you are into organizing. Appeals to my OCD. And congrats on "thinking ahead".
Because all of us on here are or have been caregivers, we understand the importance of "getting our ducks in a row,"
Thankfully most of us are wiser than our parents who often tended to be more private about such things or perhaps even in denial.
It's never too early to get your POA's in order, along with your will, and MOST form.
And like Cashew said make sure that your family knows where all your important papers are kept and that they know whether you want to be buried or cremated(both should be paid in advance)and where you want your final resting place to be.
To me it's just common sense, but then I am definitely a "ducks in a row" kind of gal.
I'm extremely glad we did that early on when we were able to think clearly and able to make decisions clearly. My husband had found the trust attorney we used in his church bulletin, and the attorney made incorrect assumptions when writing the medical POA. I still remember that he wrote on each of the POAs, "I am a member of the Catholic Church, and I wish to have the teachings and rituals of the Church followed, including Last Rites," and some other things I don't recall.
Well, I am most definitely NOT Catholic, nor did I ever imply I was. My husband is, but I am not. The attorney seemed put out that I would question what he wrote and make him do it again, but I did.
Our kids are now all grown and gone, and we have had the trust, wills and POAs completely redone. Our older son is the successor trustee, and he already has all the paperwork he needs to do the job. Our daughter is my medical POA, but I'll change that to our son as well, because she doesn't want the responsibility.
We will leave enough money for final expenses, because I'm not going to buy a plot or pay for cremation in advance. The kids can do with my carcass as they please. I expect body disposal will be quite different by the time I die, so I don't want to lock in with something that might not be the thing to do any longer.
My parents were 85 years old before I could finally convince them to do this for themselves. My dad didn't trust lawyers, and it was a challenge to get him past that but thank goodness he did, because he ended up dying just three years later. Because he had set up everything so well, I was able to take over as trustee easily when my dad was diagnosed with cancer. My mother had dementia, so she and my dad had resigned from their roles as trustees before Dad died. It was enormously helpful that he was still capable of explaining their finances to me before he died, and he and I went to their bank together to sign their POA forms. It was very helpful, too, because banks don't care what kind of POA you have from a lawyer, they want THEIR paperwork done before granting power of attorney to anyone. This applies to any financial institution -- I had the same issue with Charles Schwab.
Also very helpful was having my dad put me on their one checking account that wasn't in their trust. He had done that years before, so I was able to pay his final expenses out of that account after he died when some accounts at Charles Schwab were still being shifted from my dad's name to my mother's only.
There's a lot of be done in order to "get one's affairs in order," but your family will thank you a thousand times over for doing it and not having any secrets about it. The final important thing to remember is NEVER put the will/trust in a safe deposit box, because if you're the person named as trustee or executor but the proof of that is in a safe deposit box you don't have access to, you're going to have a LOT of trouble getting anything done.
You write wills, you select the executor and explain what is meant to happen, with the lawyer present to cover it all.
You let the executor know where the paperwork is located for insurance policies, retirement accounts, bank accounts, property titles, mortgage accounts, credit cards, and all the financials of life.
Set up POA's in case of future medical problems.
You don't have to tell the executor what is the distribution of the Will but they need to know where everything is located.