As you search online for an end-of-life planning checklist, you may become overwhelmed by all there is to do. Therefore, we advise you to divide your end-of-life plan into three different categories, focusing on your financial life, medical choices, and funeral arrangements. Breaking up your end-of-life planning into these three parts will make things easier for you to complete. 

End-of-Life Planning Checklist: Financial Matters

Spend time getting your financial affairs in order:

  1. Organize all your financial legal documents and ensure they are easy to find – especially important end-of-life documents like your life insurance policy.
  2. Ensure that your next of kin can access your financial accounts and complete all the necessary legal documents to prevent your loved ones from having to undergo a lengthy probate process. 

Make an appointment with an estate lawyer to discuss your needs, which may include a Last Will and Testament, durable financial power of attorney, or a revocable living trust.

End-of-Life Planning Checklist: Medical Matters

It would be best if you also considered future preferences regarding medical care. Many people find it difficult to imagine a day when they may not be able to make their own decisions regarding their end-of-life care medical treatment, but it’s best to plan for that possibility. 

Talk with an estate attorney and medical providers to record your preferences and complete the required paperwork, such as a durable medical power of attorney, living will, HIPPA release form, health care proxy, and non-resuscitate order. If you wish to be an organ donor, have an organ donor card. 

end of life plan

End-Of-Life Planning Checklist: Funeral Arrangements

The last category of the end-of-life planning checklist involves making funeral arrangements. While we cannot advise you on financial matters or help you make medical decisions, we can assist you with this category.

Here are some of the decisions many people think through when preparing for the end of their lives:

  • Choose your preferred method of disposition (burial or cremation).
  • Choose a funeral home or cremation provider to oversee your end-of-life arrangements.
  • If you prefer burial, select a casket, cemetery, and headstone to complete burial arrangements.
  • If you prefer cremation, select an urn and permanent resting place for your cremated remains.
  • Communicate any specific final wishes you may have, such as the type of memorial service.
  • Record your wishes for your funeral or memorial service, such as music, flowers, speakers, etc.
  • Write your obituary and death notice.
  • Communicate your end-of-life wishes with more than one family member to avoid confusion.
  • Regularly review and update your end-of-life documents as needed.
  • Leave your end-of-life file with important documents, such as financial plans and life insurance policies, in an easily accessible location. 
  • Consider pre-paying for funeral expenses.

The Cremation Society of Philadelphia staff is always available to help you with your end-of-life planning. We offer several affordable preplan cremation packages that consider every contingency. We will record your personal preferences for your final arrangements to help those you leave behind to arrange for the kind of service you would want to have.

When you are ready to complete this portion of your end-of-life planning, contact Cremation Society of Philadelphia.

Key Takeaways: Things to Consider When Creating an End-of-Life Plan

  • End-of-life planning can be divided into three subjects:
    1. Financial Matters
    2. Medical Matters
    3. Funeral Arrangements
  • Ensure your estate documents are safe but can be found easily by your spouse or adult children.
  • Preplan and pre-pay for your funeral to take away the financial and emotional burden from your family members.