Rather than avoid the fact that you will die eventually, why not instead be as prepared for your eventual death and subsequent cremation service in Walnut Creek, CA? One way to prepare for your passing is by gathering these 5 important documents:
1. Healthcare Power of Attorney – A healthcare power of attorney (POA) document appoints someone to make your medical decisions for you if you ever become unable. This document is good to have in the event of any medical problems from terminal illnesses and loss of brain function to temporary unconsciousness. Choose someone you trust to be your healthcare POA. Some states require a POA to be notarized with additional witnesses, but all states require the document to be signed by all involved parties.
2. HIPAA Release – The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) stipulate that all medical records are confidential between the patient and the healthcare provider. If you want a family member to have access to your records in case you pass away or become incapacitated, you need to fill out and sign a HIPPAA Release form.
3. ICE Book of Important Documents – While an in case of emergency (ICE) book isn’t a formal document, it’s a major help for families to gain access to important documents when a loved one passes away or is incapacitated. Make one and keep it in a secure yet obvious place in the event of your death. Include documents in your ICE book like:
- Tax returns going back 5 years
- Bank accounts
- Medical and dental records
- Insurance information
- Birth certificate
- Social security card
- Important passwords
4. Will – Your will is a document that states who will receive your assets and belongings after you pass. Wills must meet some important criteria to be valid, so it’s always a good idea to consult an attorney. Make sure your will:
- Clearly identifies itself as your personal will and clearly lists your name, date of birth, and social security number.
- Names an executor to make sure your exact wishes are carried out, from cremation to dividing the assets.
- Clearly lists and identifies the heirs
- Names all your assets, from bank accounts to estates and everything in between, and designates which heir will get what percentage of each asset.
- Is signed by you and two or three witnesses
You can also draw up a living will in the event you become incapacitated in some way. Different than a POA or a will, a living will lets you lay out your end of life wishes in the event you become terminally ill.
If you want more information on these documents, or other ways you can prepare for a Walnut Creek, CA cremation service, you can contact Deer Creek Funeral Service. Please visit us at 20630 Redwood Rd Castro Valley, CA 94546, or give us a call at (510) 317-7890.