Friends General Conference

Together we nurture the spiritual vitality of Friends

Spiritual Deepening

Grounding Exercise

A Checklist of Items: Preparing for Death

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  1. What thought have I given to both short- and long-term adjustments I will need to make in my living arrangements as my personal energy and abilities decrease, as health problems require increasing attention, as driving a car becomes difficult or dangerous and as my personal support network changes?

    Have I made arrangements to turn over decision-making about my life to another person when I am no longer competent to make decisions?

    Have I made a will clearly spelling out the disposal of my personal possessions after death?

    Have I made arrangements for the disposal of my body and for notification of family, friends and communities upon my death?

    Have I indicated in writing any preferences for a funeral or memorial service to assist the decision making of those I leave behind?

    Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, Faith and Practice 2018. Permission pending.

  1. How does our meeting encourage the continued engagement in meeting affairs of members who have problems with mobility, hearing, sight and lack of transportation to meeting?

    How does our meeting help members get access to information that can help them address the short- and longer-term adjustments they may need to make in their living conditions as their circumstances change?

    How does our meeting assist its members and their families in making arrangements should their physical or mental capacities become limited?

    How does our meeting help its members and their families face the issue of balancing the quality of their lives against prolonged existence?

    Does our meeting encourage and assist its members to prepare wills, to find information and make choices about the disposal of their bodies, including simple or green burials, to indicate preferences as to funerals or memorial services, and to let the meeting know of their choices?

    Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, Faith and Practice 2018. Permission pending.

  1. Prepare a will that reflects my current wishes, including the name(s) of guardians for any minor children.

    Prepare a durable financial power of attorney—to delegate authority over my financial matters to a trusted friend or family member.

    Prepare a living will to ensure that when I approach the end of my life, I will receive the kind of medical treatment I would wish and may also relieve my loved ones of some difficult decisions.

    Prepare a durable power of attorney for health care—to delegate authority over my health care to a trusted friend or family member.

    Pre-select a hospice agency should I develop a life-limiting condition.

    Arrange for the disposition of my body after death, with or without a funeral director; organ donation or donation of my body to science; and, if applicable, a grave location. (This information might be shared with the memorial or pastoral care committee of my meeting.)

    Share with my meeting’s memorial or pastoral care committee any special wishes I have for my memorial meeting for worship.

    Assemble records and documents such as:

    • A list of information needed to complete my death certificate.
    • A current list of my assets, related contact information and account numbers, including usernames and passwords, as needed; the location of any safety deposit box and key—(The executor of my estate will need this information.)
    • Biographical information for my obituary.
    • A list of names and phone numbers of people, organizations, utility companies and my post office to be notified of my death.

    Give a copy of the items in “h.” above to a family member, friend or your attorney.

    The items on the list in “h.” will need to be reviewed and updated periodically as laws, forms and requirements for documents and procedures change. Additional help can be obtained from the yearly meeting’s Care and Aging Coordinator and from Quaker Aging Resources (, a collaborative project of Philadelphia and New York yearly meetings.

    Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, Faith and Practice 2018. Permission pending.