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The Last Checklist You'll Ever Need over Age 70

I lead a seminar series at churches and senior centers called "Coffee, Cookies and Difficult Conversations." I've become an expert at talking with people about what they don't like to talk about, but everyone should work through this checklist at some point. The plans you leave are the final love letter you write for your family, and we can help you write it. If you have questions about anything on the list, contact and as long as your question doesn't require legal advice, we will help you for free with the answers to your questions. This article contains legal information, but not legal advice. Dave Happe is a licensed Final Expense Insurance agent in Florida, but he's not an attorney. Sometimes all you need is help with the paperwork.

Here's the checklist from "Coffee, Cookies and Difficult Conversations"

of 20 important things someone over 70 should consider to have their affairs in order:

  1. Create or Update Your Will: Ensure your will accurately reflects your wishes regarding your assets and beneficiaries. Form America is registered with the Florida Association of Legal Document Preparers and we can help you with your will if you want to do it yourself without an attorney.

  2. Designate Power of Attorney: Choose someone you trust to make financial and medical decisions on your behalf if you become unable to do so. Form America is registered with the Florida Association of Legal Document Preparers and we can help you with your Durable Power of Attorney if you want to do it yourself without an attorney.

  3. Create a Living Will or Advance Directive: Outline your preferences for medical care and end-of-life treatment. In florida, we combine these two documents into an Advance Medical Directive. Form America is registered with the Florida Association of Legal Document Preparers and we can help you with your Advance Medical Directive if you want to do it yourself without an attorney.

  4. Review and Update Beneficiary Designations: Check beneficiary designations on retirement accounts, life insurance policies, and other assets to ensure they align with your wishes. I have a friend whose husband failed to update this, and she was cut out of the will completely. Make sure your benificiaries are current.

  5. Organize Important Documents: Gather documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, property deeds, and financial account information in one secure location.

  6. Make Funeral and Burial Arrangements: Decide on funeral preferences and communicate them to loved ones. Consider pre-planning and pre-paying for funeral expenses. If you want a free form for this, email and ask us for our free planning guide. We also own if you want to buy a guaranteed issue, cheap life insurance policy up to age 80 to help your loved ones pay for your funeral. No medical questions if you are between 50-80!

  7. Review and Update Insurance Policies: Assess your health, life, long-term care, and property insurance coverage to ensure it meets your current needs.

  8. Consolidate Financial Accounts: Simplify your finances by consolidating accounts where possible and closing any unnecessary accounts.

  9. Create a Financial Inventory: Document all your assets, liabilities, and important financial information for easy reference. Email and ask us for our free planning guide you can fill out and leave for your loved ones.

  10. Consider Long-Term Care Planning: Investigate options for long-term care, including insurance, in-home care, and assisted living facilities.

  11. Review and Update Estate Plan: Evaluate your estate plan periodically to ensure it reflects your current wishes and circumstances.

  12. Discuss Your Plans with Family: Have open and honest conversations with family members about your wishes and the arrangements you've made.

  13. Create a Digital Estate Plan: Plan for the management and distribution of your digital assets, including passwords and online accounts.

  14. Review and Update Legal Documents: Ensure legal documents such as trusts, powers of attorney, and health care directives are up to date.

  15. Consider Gifting or Charitable Contributions: If desired, make arrangements for gifting assets or contributing to charitable organizations.

  16. Plan for Taxes and Debts: Consider how taxes and outstanding debts will be managed after your passing.

  17. Secure Important Valuables: Safely store valuables such as jewelry, collectibles, and important documents in a secure location.

  18. Document Final Wishes: Clearly outline any specific requests for your memorial service, burial or cremation, and disposition of remains.

  19. Review Social Security and Retirement Benefits: Understand your Social Security benefits and any retirement accounts you may have, and consider when to begin taking distributions.

  20. Consult with Professionals: Seek guidance from legal, financial, and healthcare professionals as needed to ensure your affairs are in order and your wishes are properly documented. Form America can help you with the paperwork without the help of an attorney, but if you have an attorney already make sure they review everything with you and keep your legal documents up to date.

For additional information or to contact us for assistance, visit or call (888)434-6471. Our insurance offerings are for Florida residents only.

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