Estate planning, appointing an Executor, and putting legal documents in place is all part of Planning Well

Estate planning, appointing an Executor, and putting legal documents in place is all part of Planning Well

Dying well also relates to the legacy that you leave: how well you have been able to get your affairs in order before you die so that you can ‘rest easy’ knowing everything has been covered.

Getting your affairs in order will include all or at least some of the following:
Legal Will
Living Will/Advanced Care Directive
Power of Attorney and/or Enduring Guardianship papers
Prepaid plan or Funeral Bond
Burial/cremation/memorial instructions

It’s important to put your instructions and communications about all aspects of your life (not just what you are bequeathing others) in a place where those left behind are aware of and can easily access.

How to Get Your Affairs in Order
1. Make sure several people you trust know where to find the instructions you have written down (for example in your Rest Easy Journal) and where to find your important documents. Prepare a special box, filing cabinet, safe or some place where everything including important documents, photographs, jewellery etc. is kept all in one place. This is also a good idea in the case of fire, because you can ‘grab it and go’.
2. Consult a solicitor to ensure the instructions you have left are legally binding.
3. Keep your Will up to date and review annually or after a major life event such as separation, divorce, marriage, birth of a child etc.
4. Learn what an Executor of your Will does and discuss your intention to make a person an Executor, Power of Attorney or Enduring Guardian with them so they understand the implications of accepting this role.
5. Fill in a ‘Living Will’ (Advanced Care Directive); discuss its contents with your medical care team and your family.  Appoint an Enduring Guardian or ‘Person Responsible’ and ensure that person understands and will advocate your wishes.
6. Register for body, tissue and/or organ donation if this is a part of your final wishes. Carry a copy of your organ donor card with you and add that information to your driver’s license information.
7. Make sure your funeral prepaid plan/insurance and life insurance are all up to date and you have adequate coverage.
8. Plan your funeral or memorial service and discuss this with your family, church minister or funeral celebrant.
9. Make peace with everyone. Say what you want to say before your life ends and gather loving and positive memories for your loved ones to remember you by.

Getting your affairs in order creates peace of mind for everyone concerned, and less work for those left behind.

Our Living Well; Dying Well newsletter provides information and links to more detailed information on how to get your affairs in order. Sign up here to receive the newsletter free. The Rest Easy Kit includes this information as a bonus.