Welcome to your end-of-life planning checklist. If you’re looking to make a Great Last Impression, now is the time to start!

The following end-of-life checklist is designed to help you get started with collating your information.

Your end-of-life contacts list

The start of your end-of-life checklist  can be as simple as starting with the contact details of the people that will help manage your care as well as your personal, household and legal documentation.

Who is your lawyer?

Who is your financial planner, accountant and/or banker?

Who have you nominated as your Executor and your Power of Attorney?

Who will look after your business information?

Who is your doctor?

Who is your emergency contact within friends and family?

Who will look after your digital footprint?

Pro tip:

You may also wish to include details about:

  • Friends, family and community members providing relief care to your primary carers
  • Any aged care service providers
  • Your cleaners, dog walkers and other domestic supports

That may be helping you manage your end-of-life journey. This is particularly important if you would like to stay in your own home for as long as possible. Demonstrating you have volunteers, services and plans at the ready will help strengthen your case to stay home!

Where is everything?

For your end-of-life checklist to be activated, you will need to tell people where the information is held and who has authority to activate it.

Where are your personal identity documents kept?

Where is your will and estate information?

Where is your advance care plan and advance care directive?

Where is your funeral plan?

Where are your heirlooms and mementos stored?

Where are the documents that prove ownership of your house and possessions?

Where are your financial documents?

Pro tip:

Try and keep everything together in the one place if you can. Failing that, a simple one-page document outlining where to find everything can be enormously helpful. Collecting all this information in a place offsite can be incredibly useful. For example, a safety deposit box or in a cloud app. That way, your information cannot be destroyed by home fire or lost in a natural disaster.

Entering into care

Prior to dying, you may need additional care in the home or in a care facility through changes in your health or mental health status. It’s important that you record your care wishes and advice.

Your end-of-life checklist should include:

Where is your advance care plan?

Where is your advance care directive?

Who is your Power of Attorney?

Do you have a hierarchy of values and/or aged care plan to answer questions and aid with decision making outside the direction of your advance care plan or advance care direction?

Where is your general care information like medical history, current medications, allergies, religious considerations that may impact treatment, any pre-existing health conditions or disabilities etc recorded?

Pro tip:

Always make sure you take the time to create an advance care plan and advance care directive. These documents help loved ones and care professionals alike make your treatment choices. They also advocate for the level of risk you are willing to assume to maintain your dignity.

The official information

To be able to apply for a death certificate and to manage your care, estate and other associated aspects of your end-of-life experience, you need to provide information that proves your identity. Your end-of-life checklist should include the whereabouts of these important identity documents.

Where are the originals of the following documents?

  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage certificates
  • Divorce decree
  • Death certificate for a partner
  • Adoption certificate
  • Relevant change of identity documentation

You will also need to provide the following information:

Where were you born? Include your town or suburb, state and country

Where were your parents born, what were their names (before and after marriage) and dates of birth?

What are your driver’s licence and passport numbers?

Where did you get married and when?

If you’ve changed your name, what was your name before and after the change? E.g., marriage, deed poll, transition, adoption etc.

What are the details of your insurances for personal, property and business?

What are the details for your health insurance, life insurance and funeral insurance if you have it?

What are your Centrelink details?

What is your MyGov login?

What is your tax file number?

Pro tip:

Group the most important certificates at the top of your inclusions for ease of access. Always check with your state to find out if additional documentation may be required.

Financial information

In addition to proving your identity, your end-of-life checklist should include information that helps with providing a solid view of your finances.

This may include (but is not limited to) assets and funds such as:

  • Mortgage deed for primary residence and/or investment properties
  • Any other deeds of ownership e.g. timeshare
  • Registration for car, trailer, boat and other vehicles
  • Your bank accounts and superannuation
  • Shares, annuities, pensions and other sources of income
  • Other assets – collections, valued, sentimental, heirloom, etc
  • Crypto and other accounts
  • Rentals (storage units, art studios, love nests etc)
  • Safety deposit boxes, safe combinations, storage lockers
  • Stocks, trusts, shares etc
  • Any government benefits
  • Interest, stipends, royalty payments and other dividends
  • Insurances – life, funeral, health, accident, income protection etc
  • What stamps, jewellery, art, clothes, wine and other collectibles are worth
  • Safe combination
  • Stashed cash


You should also include your debt profile:

What remains on the mortgage?

What is your credit card details and what debt remains?

How much is outstanding on any personal and car loans and how to access these accounts?

Do you have a tax debt?

Do you owe money to any personal or private lenders, friends or family members?

Do you have any other debts such as gambling that people need to know about?

Are you actively pledging to crowdfunding and who needs to be notified if you die?

Are you regularly giving to charity and who needs to be notified?


Also include any regular accounts and invoices you may pay that will need to be finalised:

  • Utilities
  • Rentals (storage units, art studios, love nests etc)
  • Phone, mobile phone, internet
  • Rates, water
  • Tax and Business Activity Statements


You will also need to include logins and authorisations for all your bank accounts, loans, superannuation account and any other financial profiles.

Pro tip:

Always direct your money to pay off your debts and cover the cost of providing your care, funeral and other requirements first. Consult a financial planner to find ways to reduce your loved one’s financial liability. Do not leave people with unexpected bills or bills they can’t cancel!


Managing your dependents

Part of your end-of-life checklist should include dealing with anyone who is depending on you for care. This includes children, elderly parents, pets and more.

Who are your children and your children’s details?

Is there anyone else in your care? E.g., elderly parent or grandparent? Person with disabilities in your family such as sibling etc

Do you give support in your neighbourhood?

For those who rely on your care, what are their needs?

What are their specific health requirements?

Who does care fall to if you are incapacitated?

What are the details of any supplementary care providers?

Who gets the pets and how should they be cared for?

Pro tip:

Outlining how you care for the people that rely on you can also ensure their care is continued. This may also include setting aside financial support within your will to help the person maintain the kind of care you provide.

What to do with your body?

Decisions will need to be made about your body after you die.

In the immediate aftermath of your death, questions about your body and how it will be used include:

Do you want to donate your body?

And if you wish to donate your body, would you prefer to:

  • Participate in organ and tissue donation – https://www.donatelife.gov.au/
  • Donate your body to medical science – via specific Australian universities utilising your body to help the next generation of doctors learn
  • Donation to body farms – you can opt for forensic taphonomy research via UTS and other places to help solve crimes and aid in forensic science

Pro tip:

If you have a pre-existing condition, not all options of body donation are available. It’s best to check with a medical professional and/or the method that interests you. Consider the legacy you’d like your body to leave and direct it accordingly!

How do you want your body treated?

You can also exercise choice with how your body is treated between death and your journey to a funeral.

You can include this sort of information on your end-of-life checklist:

Do you want your body at home or a funeral home?

Do you want your loved ones to wash and dress your body?

Do you want a viewing?

Would you prefer to burial or cremation?

Would you prefer a green burial if you choose burial?

What would you like to be wearing when you are buried or cremated?

Are there any items you want to be buried or cremated with?

What kinds of burial appeals to you?

Not all burials are created equal. And your choices extended beyond cremation and casket burial.

Where do you want to be buried?

Burials are managed on a state-by-state basis and may vary. E.g. under regulations from the NSW Land and Environment Council, needs to be in a designated place for plots unless you apply for special circumstances (such as an on-property burial). It is always best to check if you are considering burial outside a cemetery to make sure.

Do you want a green burial?

E.g. reducing your death footprint includes forgoing embalming, skipping concrete vaults, rethinking burial containers for materials that degrade over time, and maintaining and protecting natural habitat.

Do you want a burial on a property or on country?

You can apply for burial on private property if the property is large enough and state legislation allows. For example, in NSW, you can be buried on a property if it is larger than five hectares, and the space you have chosen must far enough away from any water source to not contaminate drinking water. You also need approval by local council ahead of time.

Do you want to be cremated?

A funeral home can provide the ashes without the rest of the services and offerings they provide. You can take possession of someone’s ashes and consider you next move.

How would you like your ashes to be treated?

Do you wish to be scattered?

Always seek permission from council (or appropriate body) and/or private landowner for this to occur and to notify the appropriate state body of your intentions.

Do you want your ashes stored somewhere?

E.g. you can choose from walls at a crematorium through to urns and artefacts.

Do you want to be made into diamonds, trees, or another objects?

This is a growing trend and new and exciting ways to share your ashes are arriving to Australia all the time!    


What sort of funeral appeals to you?

Always remember that your funeral is your last great impression on this planet. You are allowed to be as specific, detailed and yourself as you like!

When you are writing out your end-of-life checklist, consider:

What sort of funeral would you like to have? E.g. religious, eco, celebration/party style, before you die etc

Where do you want to be buried or memorialised?

Where is your funeral plan held? E.g. at a funeral home, with a planning service etc?

What do you want to happen at your funeral?

Would you like photos, videos and heirlooms on display?

What sort of music would you like playing?

Do you want a wake?

What sorts of readings and speakers would you like?

Would you like your funeral streamed online?

Do you have a guest list in mind?

What sort of urn, headstone or plaque would you like?

Do you want donations instead of flowers?

Your technology management plan

Your end-of-life checklist needs to include managing software, hardware and your online profiles. This includes listing all your devices and places you use online with the appropriate access instructions. Supplying a comprehensive list of your technology together with logins, passwords and/or authority to access your technology means that your loved ones won’t have to apply for legal documents, wait to access your phone, computer and laptop or suffer decision-fatigue when it comes to what to do with your digital footprint.

Part of your end-of-life checklist should include providing access to the following information:

What are the passwords to access your mobile, tablet, computers and laptops?

What are your security and burglar system logins and authorisation codes?

What online memberships and subscriptions do you own? What are the logins for these memberships and subscriptions?

What are your internet account logins and email account details?

How do you access smartwatches, Fitbit, e-Readers and other personal devices on hardware and software level?

What are your social media logins and what do you want done with the social media accounts?

What professional memberships do you have, what are the membership details, and what is the cancellation process?

Are you enrolled in any educational programs such as short courses, online learning, university, TAFE and who needs to be notified to cancel that enrolment?

What are your phone and voicemail passcodes and your phone plan billing details?

What software, apps and plugins do you use? What are the passwords and dates of renewal?

Pro tip:

Always keep information that gives people access to your accounts and online profiles in a safe and secure place. Using a program such as Last Pass for password management can help reduce the number of passwords and logins that need to be recorded. It can also be a safer alternative to storing sensitive information in spreadsheets or in the event of a break-in. .

Social media management

No end-of-life checklist is complete without instructions on what to do with your social media accounts. News travels fast on social media. Make sure you minimise the shock to loved ones, friends and well-wishers by stipulating how you want your death announced online.

The following questions can help manage this aspect of your privacy and the news’ impact:

Who do you want to manage your social media profile after you die?

Who do you want to be notified before it becomes social media news?

What level of information would you like provided?

Do you want your social media profiles to remain after you die?

Some social media platforms include memorialisation settings so that your friends and followers can view and have limited interaction with your profile after death. Would you prefer a memorialised profile or for your profile to be deleted?

Pro tip: 

Consider your social media profile as part of the grieving process and it’s ability to share your death with people who you may have no others means of contacting who would want to know about your death. But also consider whether or not you want that social media to remain in the longer term. 

Your end-of-life checklist your way

Once you have considered the answers to these questions, you can create yourself a solid end-of-life checklist for your loves ones to follow. These questions may also prompt you to think of other aspects of your life that need coverage as well. That’s OK too!

A couple of final tips for you on creating a great end-of-life checklist:

  • Take your time. No one expects you to tackle everything all at once
  • To maintain focus, jot down ideas as they appear and circle back to them
  • Look at what you can delegate. A good lawyer or accountant can be invaluable
  • Automate wherever possible. Consider using software to help plan, store and manage your information
  • Share the load! It’s OK to ask for help from friends and family
  • If you are a business owner, check out our checklist on your end-of-life checklist for business

Feel free to share your end-of-life checklist ideas and experiences in the comments below!