By Alejandra Oliva
End-of-life planning has the aspects we all know about – have you written a will? Does your family know what to do in case of a medical or financial emergency if you are incapacitated? While these are all key aspects of end-of-life planning, personal legacy building is another important facet to diminishing the pain and stress of your family after your passing.
Legacy building refers to the passing down not of material assets, but of personal values, hopes for the future, and messages of love to later generations. One way to do this is through an ethical will: a collection of the values, memories, and lessons learned throughout your life. Although you may have a pretty good idea of what these are, sometimes it helps to have a template to guide you in the process of writing it.
AfterSteps is an online tool that makes it easy for you to share important documents – both legal and personal, with three verifiers upon your passing. You can upload your ethical will along with any manner of other important personal documents: your family tree, a family recipe or tradition you’d love to see kept going, records of military service and others. Your verifiers are guaranteed delivery of anything you add to the website – and it has a checklist of sorts, so you can see, both personally and legally, how well-prepared for your passing you’ve left your family.
AfterSteps also gives your verifiers access to a few key documents they may need before you pass, including medical and financial power of attorney, as well as a living will or advance directive. These are especially important because they’ll help your family make difficult decisions in the case that you’re unable to make them for yourself.
Preparing for end-of-life with family is one of the most important conversations you can have – knowing what your wishes are, and how you want to be remembered helps to reduce their pain and stress during an otherwise difficult time. Remember, though, end-of-life planning isn’t just about wills and estates, it’s also making sure that your family, friends and loved ones remember you, and the things that were important to you.