Documents Before Parents Pass

By: Powers Funeral Home
Monday, April 10, 2023

Preparing for a death is never an easy thing to do. However, as our parents age, we know that this unpleasant event is inevitable. One thing we can do while our parents are still alive and well is to talk to them about their last wishes as well as gather up any and all important documents we may need. Directors of cremation services in Columbia, SC. have these tips to help.  

Important Medical Documents You Should Have 

These medical documents refer to any and all medical needs your parent may need or have as they deal with hospital care and who is the care taker. These documents include: 

  • An Advance Health Care Directive - This document is a combination of their Living Will and the naming of a Health Care Proxy 
  • Do Not Resuscitate Orders (DNR) - If it is their wish that doctors do not try and resuscitate them, they will need to fill out this DNR order.  
  • HIPAA Authorization – This is to allow their private health information to be released to the parties they name.  

Financial Documents You Should Gather 

It is important to make sure if your parents become unable to care for themselves you have certain documents allowing you control over their finances. Also, you will need to make sure to talk with them and gather things such as: 

A Financial Power of Attorney (POA) - This document is imperative in assigning someone to handle their finances if they are unable to do so 

  • Tax Returns - Make sure they have these available for you.  No more than the past six years should be needed. 
  • Vehicle Titles – Gather any and all vehicle title they may have. 
  • Stock Certificates – Gather any documents related to stocks they own or savings bonds 
  • Any Deeds – Deeds such as housing, cemetery, or land 
  • Loans and Payments - Documents showing any loans they have as well as payments made  
  • 401(k)- Papers relating to their 401(k) and retirement accounts 

While these may not be the only financial documents they have as each person is different, these will give you a good starting place.  

Miscellaneous Personal Documents to Gather 

While this isn’t a complete list and your parents may have more or less depending on their life circumstances, here are some personal documents to keep in mind: 

  • Marriage License – Gather documents showing they have been married and/or divorced 
  • List of Passwords – Compile a list of passwords for accounts as well as log in codes for items such as their computers, phone, and tablets 
  • Digital Estate Plan - This document outlines how they would like your social media accounts to be handled 
  • Last Will and Testament - This will appoint those who will inherit their assets if no beneficiary is named on an account 
  • Letter of Instruction - This document instructs how they would like their last wishes to be carried out such as where they would like to be buried.   

Directors of cremation services in Columbia, SC. understand it is never easy when a parent passes away. Having the documents that are listed above can help relive some of the stress when the time comes. If you need any further information or would like to talk one-on-one with one of our compassionate cremation directors, please reach out anytime as we are always here to help.

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