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Why everyone needs an end-of-life plan

An end-of-life plan is an important step that everyone should consider taking, as it allows you to have control over your final wishes and ensures that your loved ones are not left without guidance when it comes to making important decisions. It's understandable that thinking about the end of your life can be overwhelming and difficult, but making these plans can bring a sense of peace of mind knowing that your important matters are taken care of.

It's a fact that many of us would prefer to pass away at home, surrounded by loved ones and familiar surroundings, but unfortunately, it's not always possible. According to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll, 70% of Americans say they would prefer to die at home, but only 30% of people actually do. By having an end-of-life plan in place, you increase the chance of dying in the setting of your choice.

Additionally, it's not uncommon for families to disagree on end-of-life decisions when there's no plan in place. AARP statistics show that only 45% of adults in the United States have a living will or advance directive outlining their end-of-life care wishes. By creating a plan ahead of time, you can help to avoid conflicts and ensure that your loved ones are able to make decisions based on your own preferences and values.

Creating an end-of-life plan is not just about making practical arrangements, it's also about expressing your values and priorities, even in death. It can also provide guidance to your healthcare providers and your loved ones in making medical decision. When planning for end-of-life, it is important for a person to consider a number of different factors. Understanding your own preferences and making them clear to your loved ones can be difficult, but it is a gift that can bring peace of mind to you and your loved ones in what can be an emotional and difficult time.

Medical care

Consider what types of medical treatments you would or would not want to receive in the event of a serious illness or injury. This might include things like life support, tube feeding, and hospice care. According to a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, about 70% of Americans say it is important to have the ability to control how they die, including the use of pain medication and other measures to manage symptoms.

Legal documents

Consider creating legal documents such as a living will, health care power of attorney, and a do not resuscitate (DNR) order. These documents can provide guidance for loved ones and healthcare providers in the event that you are unable to make decisions for yourself.

Funeral arrangements

Think about your preferences for your funeral and final disposition of your remains. It could include, type of burial or cremation, and final resting place. According to the National Funeral Directors Association, the national median cost of a funeral with a viewing and burial in 2021 was approximately $7,848.


Consider the financial impact of your death and what you want to happen to your assets and debts. Make sure you’ve set up beneficiaries in each of your financial accounts. These designations will supersede a will, so you want to be sure to keep this information up-to-date.

Living arrangements

If you are unable to care for yourself, you should consider making arrangements for your living arrangements, for example, you can think about long-term care facilities or home care providers. According to a 2021 Cost of Care Survey by Genworth, a private room in a nursing home costs $297 per day, or $9,034 per month. This can be a devastating cost if you and your family have not planned ahead.

Family and personal wishes

Think about what kind of support you would like to receive from your family and loved ones in the event of a serious illness or injury, and what you would like to happen to your personal possessions.

Advance Care Planning

This is the process of thinking about and discussing your future healthcare choices with your family, friends, and healthcare providers. You can set one up for free in Addio, and if you need additional assistance, you can schedule a call with one of our Family Guides or connect with a licensed professional through our Expert Network.

End-of-life planning is a personal and individual process, and it is important to think about what is most important to you and what will provide you with a sense of peace and security. It's not easy to think and talk about end of life, but it's a gift to you and your loved ones to have a plan in place and make sure your wishes are respected and honored.

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Gabe Caldwell
Gabe Caldwell

Gabe Caldwell is an entrepreneur, investor, biohacker and co-founder at Addio. He leads Addio’s partnership efforts and makes sure that families have access to the top experts in Addio’s Expert Network. In his free time, you can find him riding bikes, lifting weights, or playing beach volleyball.

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Should you create an online will or use an attorney?

If you're weighing the pros and cons of doing it online versus going through an attorney, let us break it down.

Take the quiz