Free End-of-Life Plan

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Create Your Free End-of-Life Plan

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  2. Email, download or print instantly
  3. Just takes 5 minutes

End-of-Life Plan

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An End-of-Life Plan outlines your wishes for your remains and any memorial services and a Last Will describes how your assets will be distributed. While you do not need a Last Will in order to create an End-of-Life Plan, both documents are part of a well-rounded estate plan.




Your End-of-Life Plan

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End-of-Life Plan for ________________________

I, ________________________, currently of _______________, _______________, being of sound mind, willfully and voluntarily declare that these are my final wishes as to the disposition of my body after my death and any services or memorialization to be held in my name.

This document is not intended to be interpreted as my Last Will and Testament.

    1. Appointee
    2. I request that the executor of my Last Will and Testament, ________________________, currently of _______________, _______________, be in charge of planning and executing my last wishes.
    1. Death Announcement
    2. I do not wish to have any announcement published online or in print upon my death.
    1. Organ Donation
    2. I wish to donate my organs upon my death and am a registered organ donor in the state of _______________.
    1. Final Disposition of My Body
    2. Upon my death, I have no preference as to how my body is dealt with.
    1. Services in My Memory
    2. Upon my death, I do not wish to have any formal services held in my honor.


I recognize that it may not be possible for my appointee to fulfill all of my wishes and request that ________________________ act to follow the spirit of these wishes as well as they can and within the limits of any applicable law.


SIGNATURE

_________________________

_________________________

________________________

Date

WITNESSES

SIGNED AND DECLARED by ________________________ on the ______ day of ________________, ________ to be the declarant’s End-of-Life Plan expressing their own wishes as to the disposition of their body and any services to be held in their name. We declare that ________________________ is personally known to us, that they signed this End-of-Life Plan in our presence, and that they appeared to be of sound mind and not acting under duress, fraud, or undue influence.

_________________________

_________________________

Witness #1 Signature

Witness #2 Signature

_________________________

_________________________

Witness #1 Name (please print)

Witness #2 Name (please print)

_________________________

_________________________

Date

Date

End-of-Life Plan

Alternate Names:

An End-of-Life Plan is also known as a/an:

  • End-of-Life Checklist
  • Funeral Plan
  • Funeral Arrangements

What is an End-of-Life Plan?

An End-of-Life Plan is an estate planning tool used to outline your wishes once you pass away, including how you want your body to be dealt with and whether you would like any funeral or memorial services to be held in your name.

In your End-of-Life Plan, you can also appoint a trusted individual to ensure that your instructions are followed.

What is included in an End-of-Life Plan?

In LawDepot's End-of-Life Plan you can specify:

  • An appointee or appointees to carry out your final arrangements
  • Whether you would like a death notice or obituary to be published
  • How you would like your body to be dealt with
  • Whether you would like formal services to be held in your name
  • How your funeral-related expenses will be paid for

Who should make an End-of-Life Plan?

It's a good idea to create an End-of-Life Plan if:

  • You have already made your final (end-of-life) arrangements and want to put the information in writing for your loved ones.
  • You have specific wishes regarding your cremation or burial, or your funeral or memorial service that have not yet been documented or shared with a loved one.

What should I do with my remains?

How you wish your body to be dealt with after death may depend on your religious or cultural traditions and personal preferences. In general, you have the following options:

Burial or entombment: If you want your body to remain intact (not cremated), you can choose to be buried or entombed in a coffin, casket, or shroud.

It is most common to purchase a cemetery plot for burial, but other options include burial in a natural or green burial ground, burial at sea, or burial on private property. Just keep in mind that laws regarding private property burials vary by state and municipality and are not permitted in many locations.

Entombment involves placing a body in a casket, but rather than being stored below ground, the body is placed in an above-ground structure called a mausoleum.

Cremation: Cremation disposes of a body by burning it to ash. The ashes can then be:

  • Buried in a cemetery, cremation garden, or private burial plot
  • Stored in a columbarium (an above-ground structure similar to a mausoleum)
  • Given to a loved one such as a spouse or child
  • Scattered in a location of significance

There are many other creative ways to deal with your ashes, so it may be worth doing some research to see if you prefer another option.

Donation to science: Donating a body to science means it will be used for medical research and/or education. In the U.S., donations can be made to private organizations or to medical schools, and it is possible in some states to pre-register as a donor. In most cases, the organization will cremate the body at no charge and return the ashes to the donor's family.

What type of memorial service should I have?

Just like the disposal of your remains, the choice to have formal services in your name can depend on your background and personal preferences.

The most common types of services include:

Visitation: A visitation, or viewing, takes place before or instead of a funeral. Family and friends gather to express their sympathies and say their final goodbyes, sometimes in the presence of the body.

Funeral: A funeral is a formal ceremony that can include eulogies, prayers, songs, or special readings. It can be religious or secular, depending on your wishes. A religious ceremony is typically held in a house of worship, while secular ceremonies are more often held at funeral homes or funeral parlors.

Graveside Service: A graveside service typically follows a funeral but can also function as a sole event. It can be limited to family or open to anyone. The service is held at the place of interment, usually a grave, but sometimes a mausoleum or an urn garden.

Memorial Service: A memorial service gives family and friends the opportunity to remember the deceased. It often takes place after the burial or cremation, meaning that unlike a visitation, there is no body present.

Note that you can also have more than one service. For example, you can have a visitation prior to the funeral, followed by a graveside service.

Is my End-of-Life Plan legally binding?

It's important to know that your End-of-Life Plan is only an expression of your final wishes. You can ask your appointee to fulfill those wishes to the best of their ability, but there is no guarantee that they will be able to make all of them happen.

For instance, if you wish to be buried in a certain cemetery but have not purchased a burial plot, there is a chance there will be none available by the time you pass away. Your appointee would then need to find an alternate location.

Discussing your End-of-Life Plan with your appointee, the executor of your Last Will, and your loved ones can help ensure your instructions are followed as closely as possible upon your passing.

Related Documents:

  • Last Will and Testament: Specify how your assets and property will be distributed after your death
  • Power of Attorney: Appoint someone to make financial, legal, and business decisions for you if you cannot
  • Living Will: Specify your health care preferences and appoint someone to make decisions for you if you are incapacitated

Related Articles:

Create your free End-of-Life Plan in 10 minutes or less
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