Have These End-of-Life Documents Before an Emergency
The first priority when you’re preparing for any disaster is safety and survival. But what if something should happen to you, and your family is left behind? Preparing end-of-life documents is a crucial part of emergency preparedness.
Luckily, it’s easier today than ever before to put together these key end-of-life forms. We’ll go over each of the most important pieces of documentation you’ll need, below.
- Living will. A living will, also known as an advance directive in some locations, lets your family and medical team know what types of medical treatments you want or do not want if you end up in the hospital during an emergency. That includes decisions about the use of CPR, intubation, nutrition and hydration, and other interventions.
- Health care proxy. This important document allows you to designate someone you trust to make medical decisions for you in case you are not able to do so for yourself. This could be a medical emergency where you’re unconscious, for example.
- Power of attorney. While the previous documents are about your physical health in an emergency, a power of attorney is all about finances. A power of attorney lets you designate a person to make financial decisions for you and your estate. This is important if you become incapacitated and are unable to make financial decisions.
- Will and testament. Your will is the document that ensures your assets, money, and property go to the people or organizations that you want to receive them. Creating a will, or “final will and testament” also lets you decide what you’d like done with your body if you pass away.
- Life insurance. If you have life insurance through your employer, make sure you have a copy of your policy at home. If not, you might consider getting life insurance, especially if you’re married and/or have children who would be financially impacted by your passing.
Tip: For more specific information and guidance for preparing each of these end-of-life documents, check out Cake’s end-of-life checklist.
Preparing and Preserving Important Documents
Ensuring that you have these important documents is just the first step.
The next is to make sure your documents are accessible and protected from the elements.
Keep them all together in a water-tight container, and consider laminating or vacuum-sealing any documents you can. You can also keep a laminated card in your wallet indicating where these documents can be found.
Foe more prepping information and product recommendations check out our article on Important Documents.