Preplanning cremations is one of Shaker Heights, OH cremation services, and there are many more things like preplanning cremations that we can do now to be prepared for the end of life.
Before we even get sick or reach an age where death is more likely than not, we should have legal documents in place that ensure that our wishes for our medical care and for distribution of the things that we will leave behind are done as we want them done.
A medical power of attorney is a legal document in which we designate someone we trust to make medical decisions for us if we are unable to. Without a medical power of attorney, even if our family knows what medical things we would or would not want, the doctor or hospital is bound to take all measures necessary until there is absolutely nothing more they can do because no one has been designated to make those decisions for us.
A medical power of attorney is important because we never know when we could be unable to make our own medical decisions. We could be incapacitated by a stroke, a debilitating disease like Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS), a tragic accident where we are unconscious, or by dementia. We would want a medical advocate who would make decisions in our best interests and according to our wishes.
If we don’t wish to be resuscitated if we stop breathing, then we should have a Do Not Resuscitate order drawn and signed by our primary care provider.
We should also have a living will. A living will is different from a medical power of attorney, in that a living will states what measures we do or don’t want taken when we are dying.
The medical power of attorney and the living will are legal as long as we’ve signed and dated them. It’s advisable to have them notarized, which is usually free at banks where we have financial accounts.
All three of these documents should be on file with our primary care physician and we should take them when we go to the hospital or to urgent care centers as well (many medical facilities now share access to our health care records, but it never hurts to take these documents anyway).
The other document that we should have now is a will. A will simply states how and to whom we want our assets distributed after we die. A will doesn’t have to be complicated nor does it have to be expensive. There is software and there are online sites that let you create your own will. A will is legal as long as it is signed and dated. Again, though, it is advisable to have a will witnessed and notarized.
We should also have updated information for our digital lives. This includes online bank accounts, investment accounts, credit cards, shopping accounts (like Amazon), social media accounts, email accounts, and any other online presence (such as blogs). Include all the pertinent information that your designated person will need to log in and manage or delete these accounts after you die. Keep it on a flash drive with your important papers.
If you’d like to learn more about Shaker Heights, OH cremation services, our compassionate and experienced team at E. F. Boyd & Son Funeral Home is here to help. You can visit us at our funeral home at 25900 Emery Road, Warrensville Heights, OH, or you can call us today at (216) 831-7906.