Sharing and Safe Keeping of End of Life Decisions

Share Your Decisions

Even if you have made your end-of-life decisions and completed all the necessary legal documents, there’s one more step to take to make sure your decisions will be followed. Share your decisions with family and friends, healthcare providers, faith leaders, and legal and financial advisors, if you have them. Also, let everyone know where your legal documents can be found.

File Your Records

Keep your durable power of attorney, advance directives, and will in a safe place in your home, and let people know where that is. Although a safe deposit box sounds like a good place to keep these important documents, it has two big drawbacks: The box is only available when the bank is open and only to people who are signers on the box with you. You could keep originals in your box for safekeeping and keep copies at home. 

In Your Safe Deposit Box

In a Safe Place at Home

Birth Certificates Employment Records
Marriage Certificates Health Insurance Information
Divorce Decrees Insurance Policies
Advance Directives (originals) Wills (copies)
Death Certificates Durable Power of Attorney (for financial decisions)
Car Titles Advance Directives (copies)
Property Titles Inventory of Safe Deposit Box and Key
Insurance Policies – life, health others (copies) Financial Inventory List
Summary of employee benefits —pensions, 401(k) plans, others
Bonds and stock Certificates
Veteran’s Papers

Although this information can be very important to have at the end of life, it provides a strong foundation for good financial planning at any stage of life. It might even get you thinking about your own goals and financial planning.


You’re feeling very good about the conversations you’re having with your loved one and then suddenly there’s a decision you don’t agree with. What do you do? That depends on the decision and how strongly both of you feel about it. Talk about it. Share your concerns as positively as possible. Ask questions about your loved one’s decision and how he or she arrived at it. If the decision means you will have to do something you know you can’t, such as selling the family home, you can suggest that your loved one choose another person to be responsible for that action.

Keep in mind that you don’t want to spend your last days and weeks with your loved one in arguments that leave ill feelings. As the saying goes, wisdom is knowing the difference between things you can change—and those you can’t.

Categories: Memory Care

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