This section could be titled your “I’m not old enough for this info” page. I know for my self, I don’t feel old enough to worry about half of this stuff, if not all of it. However, this does need to get done because we really never know when our time will come. Also, if you are at the age that I am, and are starting your young family, then these things should be important to you. This may be a bit dry and boring, but we are adults now and these things should get done.
Here’s what to include:
Wills. This is an important one, especially if you now have kids. You want to make sure you get this done because if you do, you can decide where your kids go in the case that you and your spouse die, or become a vegetable. If you don’t write up a will, your family will have to fight over who gets custody of the kids. You will want to include the name of executor in this section as well, so those you leave behind will know who is in charge of your will.
The nice thing about wills is you can write what is called a “ghost will”. This is basically a will written on a napkin. As long as you write it in your pen and sign it, it stands in court.
Power of Attorney. If you become a vegetable, you will want to have someone you trust make the decisions for your finances and other important details. As far as I know, as long as you’re married your spouse will be your power of attorney. Although I think that is only if his/her name is also on the account. I personally feel that it is important to have both names on every account you have. It will make these things so much easier for the spouse that survives. Nothing could be more frustrating then having your spouse die AND not be able to access any of ‘your’ finances simply because your name wasn’t on the accounts.
Personal Directives. According to Alberta human services, “Personal directives are legal documents which allow you to name a decision maker and/or provide written instructions to be followed when, due to illness or injury, you no longer have the capacity to make decisions such as where you will live or the medical treatment you will receive.” This goes along with wills and power of attorneys. This is instructions on where you want your finances spent, who is in charge of what, and when things are to be done.
Cemetery Lot. This is a weird one to think about even at my ripe old age of 30. However, if I was killed in a car accident tomorrow, does my wife know where I want to be buried and how? Does she know if I want to be cremated or not? These are all things we need to discuss now that we have families. Again, still weird to think about at this young age.
Funeral Instructions. Who gives your eulogy? I told my wife I want bag pipes played at mine because I think they sound amazing. Who are the pallbearers?
This will be the one section you just want to get out of the way. It is important to get these details right, and then you should never have to worry about them again.