End of life planning is as serious as it sounds and challenging nonetheless. Experts recommend planning for everything from what your obituary will read to where your Facebook password is. There are a multitude of resources out there that provide (mostly) comprehensive checklists of what should be part of your end of life planning, but some are missing a key piece: your legacy.
You may have heard of advanced care planning too. Advanced care planning is similar, but focused more on health & wellness decisions as opposed to Facebook passwords. The National Institute on Aging defines advanced care planning as deciding “what type of health care would you want if you became too sick to tell the doctor yourself.”
Back to end of life planning. After reading through a variety of end of life planning checklists, the common non-health-oriented themes you should be focusing on are:
- Legal documentation for your estate, belongings, assets, pets, etc. (such as a will)
- Monetary considerations (such as whether or not insurance will help pay for your burial)
- Accounts and passwords (how can someone login to that Facebook account and shut it down)
- Funeral and burial preferences (open casket, wake, cremation?)
- Death announcement or obituary (what would you like it to say?)
That is by no means an exhaustive list, but one key thing we’ve noticed that is missing from many end of life planning checklists is: capturing your legacy. Having a say in your obituary or death announcement is a great step, but how do you truly want your family and close friends to remember you? This is one of the most important reasons that recording a legacy video is so important.
We use the term legacy video, but you may think of this type of recording by some of the other common names such as a video biography, oral history video, or personal video memoir.
Recording a legacy video where you have a chance to capture your favorite life stories, milestones and accomplishments, and what your family and friends truly meant to you is priceless. It will serve as a family heirloom to cherish for generations when friends and family are missing you the most. If you’re unsure what to ask in a video like this, there are a couple of different strategies you can use to create the best legacy video possible.
Planning for things like legal documentation, monetary considerations, and funeral preferences will make it easier on the family. A legacy video can have just as big of an impact too.
When thinking about end of life planning, creating a legacy video should be on your checklist for more reasons than one.