What Documents are Needed for End of Life
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What Documents are Needed for End of Life?

Discover the most important end of life and estate planning documentation and find out what documents you should devise now.

A lot of us have pondered about writing a will, but there are various other documents you require to cover all facets of your end of life wants. Without them, your family is going to have to make tough decisions for you, without the knowledge what you might have wanted.

End of Life Planning Documentation

The nine documents covered in this post complementary on each other to create an extensive end of life plan. Read on to take a closer look:

1. Do Not Resuscitate Orders

A DNR form — sometimes known as “allow natural death” or “no code” — conveys that you do not want to get life-sustaining treatments in the event of heart attack or respiratory distress.

Simply put, if you want a medical professional to allow natural death rather than restarting your heart or carrying out CPR, you and your physician need to sign your DNR order.

2. Living Will

A living will is going to illustrate your wishes for end of life medical care should you become uncapable of communicating.

Your living will document needs to clarify your preferences concerning medical treatments like:

  • antibiotics and/or other medications
  • artificial ventilation
  • comfort care and pain management
  • dialysis
  • organ and/or tissue donation
  • resuscitation
  • tube feeding

Even when you’re a registered organ donor and have DNR documentation, it’s still wise to reclarify these decisions in your living will.

Many states have the requirement of an advance directive, in which combines your living will and your medical power of attorney.

3. Last Will and Testament

A last will and testament dictates how you want to distribute your assets following your passing. Also referred to as a “will” or “last will,” this document needs to be distinct from your living will, in which is used to clarify medical care preference. Through this document, you appoint an executor (and beneficiary executors) to administer your estate based upon your desires and name beneficiaries to inherit assets.

You can also use your last will and testament to clarify funeral preferences, particularly if you want to put away funds for funeral services.

4. Living Trust

A living trust is estate planning paperwork that puts your assets into a trust and designates how those assets are going to be distributed following your passing. Different kinds of trusts enable you to manage your estate in accordance to your preferences.

Dissimilar from a last will, a trust bypasses the probate process, in which saves your beneficiaries their time and expenses.

5. Financial Power of Attorney

A financial power of attorney (FPOA) enables an individual of your choosing (named as an agent, attorney-in-fact) the legal ability to act for you and assist in managing your financial affairs.

Using this highly adaptable document, you can appoint your agent to assist with a specific duty, such as selling property, to take over each of your financial responsibilities if you become debilitated.

6. Medical Power of Attorney

A medical power of attorney (MPOA) enables you appoint a trustworthy individual — called your “agent” — to make medical decisions on your behalf if you become unable to communicate your wishes. Dissimilar to a financial power of attorney, this kind of POA does not enable your agent the access to your finances.

Your MPOA only takes effect should you become debilitated. Many states require your advance directive, in which combines a medical power of attorney with your living will.

7. Organ and Tissue Donation

When you want to donate your organs and tissues to someone in need following your passing, you are required to register as an organ donor.

Take few moments to guarantee you are registered when this is part of your end of life wishes.

8. Funeral Plan and Obituary

Preparing for your own funeral can seem frightening, but it’s a enormous gift to your loved ones to clarify your funeral preferences and put away funds so they won’t have to plan for it when grieving.

This also provides you the opportunity to consider how you would like to be remembered — through a service, obituary, commemoration, or any other form of your choosing.

9. Personal and Financial Records

Organize your important papers for enabling the right people to access them should you have a medical emergency. Furthermore, for your personal and financial records, include directives for important matters, like your medications, how and when bills get paid, and any debts you owe.

In Conclusion

Having these documents in place, you guarantee your family members and medical professionals know precisely how to carry out your wishes in the event you can’t communicate them yourself. Take these steps today to guarantee you have all the required estate planning legal documents to devise a comprehensive estate plan and provide yourself with peace of mind.


  1. 9 end of life documents everyone needs. Legal Templates. (2021, January 6). Retrieved November 30, 2021, from https://legaltemplates.net/resources/estate-planning/end-of-life-documents/.

Arizona Family Law

There’s nothing better than the peace of mind you will have knowing you’ve protected your family at a time when they need it most. Let us help. Schedule a consultation or contact Ogborne Law, PLC of Arizona today.

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