When you hear the term or phrase “final wishes”, this is often in reference to what someone would like to happen in the event of their death. Wishes that they hope their family or loved ones will honor and follow.
It may not be a legally binding document, but at a minimum, it is a statement of your wishes and other information which will be known.
What things can I, or should I, include in my final wishes?
In the event of death, many people have certain desires regarding the type of funeral, whether they want to be buried or cremated, where they want to rest, and other matters that cannot be taken care of in a will.
Another thing that can be detailed with final wishes is to give your family members important information that will assist them in taking care of your estate. For example, the location of your will and/or a list of your assets.
Information for family members and loved ones can be invaluable at a time of grief. It can help relieve any stress caused by having to track down any documentation or receiving any related correspondence later down the line.
- Things like stocks, bonds and similar investments can be hard to locate; especially if they don’t know a, they exist and b, where to locate documents.
- Other things you should consider recording are assets other than at your home. For example, vehicle or furniture in a storage facility, a coin collection in a safe-deposit box or a boat at a docking facility. These things are often difficult to locate, and your list should include a detailed description of the item and where it is located.
- Life insurance policies are important to record, too. Include the name, address and telephone number of the insurance company and the policy number.
- Who you want to be notified of your death? Consider compiling a list of relatives, friends, work colleagues and any other people you would like to be notified of your death (include their names, addresses and telephone numbers if you know them).
- Wishes you may have regarding the education and upbringing of minor children.
- Wishes surrounding any pets you may have. Information about provisions for the custody and (you do not want your pets to go unfed while you are in the hospital, so be sure you discuss pet care with the relative or friend who will be notified in the event of an emergency. Your will should also state who you want to have your pets, and possibly include giving money to that person for food, veterinary care, etc.)
- Instructions and wishes regarding your funeral. For example, do you own a cemetery plot? Do you have a prepaid funeral plan? Record whether you want a traditional burial, cremation and any other relevant information. You may specify a lavish funeral or state that you wish the least expensive burial in order to save assets for your heirs.
How and where do I record my wishes?
It is important your family and loved ones know your wishes in the event of your death. Sometimes, having the ‘conversation’ can be hard and emotional; so, we shy away.
My Last Request gives you the opportunity of recording your exact funeral wishes without the awkwardness of having to discuss it with your family – something we all would probably find difficult to do.
Many families are left with the feeling of “what if” after they have arranged a funeral.
“What if that’s not what they would have wanted?” “What if we made the wrong choice?”
As well as recording your funeral wishes you will also be given the opportunity of recording a video message for your family and friends and uploading any precious photos you want to pass on. You can also detail where your Will is kept and compile a list of people that you would like to be notified of your death; amongst other information (such as listed earlier in the article).
In order for such a document to be of any use, it must be in a place where it can easily be found and accessed by a family member. Therefore, it is not a good idea to put it in your safe-deposit box. Once the bank finds out about your death, it may seal your safe-deposit box and only permit it to be opened with a court order. Because it takes time to obtain a court order, it may be well after the funeral that the contents of the safe-deposit box become available.
This is why we created a service like My Last Request. You can appoint two trustees to your online account, who will gain all information you record. By recording your wishes on My Last Request you will have the peace of mind that your wishes will be known and (hopefully) acted on.