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As mentioned earlier, advance planning for death is largely a matter of paperwork, and distributing that paperwork to the relevant people and professionals who will carry out your wishes when the time comes. 

Your completed My Last Wishes binder will contain all the information needed for your loved ones to feel confident that your wishes are being honored. 

The My Last Wishes binder includes:

  • 5-Wishes advance directive pamphlet which includes 

    • Appointing a health care agent

    • Desires for life support

    • Care and treatment of the body

    • How you wish to be remembered

  • List of people to contact if you are seriously ill

  • List of people to contact upon your death

  • Relevant information for death certificate

  • New Mexico Last Will & Testament, if you have a simple enough estate to do this without legal counsel

  • Wishes for pet assignment, along with detailed information about pets

  • Instructions for bequeathing items not listed in your will

  • Financial information: accounts, loans and debts, safe deposit boxes, investments, pensions, credit card accounts

  • Insurances

  • List of personal devices with log in information

  • Online accounts with passwords

  • List of professional advisors

  • List of utilities and any people or organizations providing regular house maintenance services 

  • Checklist of things to be done upon death

A note on legalities:

We all have an "estate." The word simply means everything you own. If your estate is substantial, you should consult legal counsel to help you with your will and other documents, such as a trust. If your estate is uncomplicated, you may use the form in the My Last Wishes binder.  Certain paperwork in your binder will need to be notarized, with two witnesses, in order for your estate paperwork to be processed efficiently when the time comes.

I am not qualified to offer legal advice, but I can refer you to lawyers who specialize in estate matters. 

"To experience death and dying details managed professionally, with devotion, and in a truly humane fashion, has been my good fortune. Tara's guidance was instrumental in the completion of advance planning that fit all of my wishes. Don't leave home without her."

                      ~ Melvyn Ettrick

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