how to record your final wishes and make sure they are carried out

How to Record Your Final Wishes and Make Sure They’re Carried Out

When it comes to medical care and end of life decisions, people can have some very strong opinions. Even funeral arrangements can be a point of contention. So if your loved ones disagree with your preferences, how do you know that they will respect your final wishes?

There is a way to make sure that your directions will be followed if you pass away or are ever unable to make decisions for yourself. In this post we explain how to record your final wishes, so that you know they will be carried out.

The Benefits of Advance Directives

Advance directives help you express your final wishes and communicate them to your loved ones. They also provide peace of mind, because with an advance directive, you know that your instructions will be carried out.

They can even make difficult decisions easier for your family and loved ones. Disagreements often arise over topics like life support or burial vs. cremation. Having an advance directive in place will help minimize stress and reduce conflicts between the people you love the most.

Healthcare Instructions

There is a type of advance directive called a living will that you can use to record your preferences for medical treatment. For example, if you want to be an organ donor, or if you do not want to receive life support, you can make sure that these wishes are carried out with a living will.

You will need to appoint a personal representative as your medical power of attorney. If you are ever incapacitated by an accident or unable to speak or write because of a stroke, that person will be able to make medical decisions according to your instructions.

Funeral Arrangements

In general, it’s best not to include your funeral arrangements in your will. Because wills have to go through probate, it may be some time before your will is verified. If you want your loved ones to know your final wishes regarding your remains, it’s better to create a separate document.

For example, you might want to be buried with certain personal items, or have your ashes scattered in a specific location. The personal representative that you appoint as executor of your estate will be responsible for following your instructions. Be sure to give them a copy of the document along with your will, so they will be prepared in advance.

Choosing the Right Personal Representative

Whether you’re selecting an executor for your estate or a medical power of attorney, you need to consider your options carefully. The person you appoint is legally obligated to follow your instructions, but choosing the right person to represent you is key. 

Obviously, you don’t want to grant power of attorney to someone who openly disagrees with you. But you also don’t want to place the burden of decision making on someone who would be affected emotionally. 

No matter who you choose to represent you, make sure to meet with that person to discuss the details and secure their cooperation. The more prepared they are for an unexpected situation, the easier it will be for them to act according to your wishes if the time comes.

Living Wills and Estate Planning Services in Arizona

The right legal documents can help ensure that your wishes will be carried out exactly as you intended. To find out more about how estate planning can give you peace of mind, schedule a consultation with the experts at Phelps LaClair. We can help you prepare a living will, medical power of attorney, and any other documents you need to make sure your plans go through. 


Your initial consultation is free of charge—contact us today to get started.


Photo by DDP on Unsplash used with permission under the Creative Commons license for commercial use 9/13/2023.


Next webinar
starting soon
Free Webinar