How to Build a Great Team

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With a little help…From your team

Sure, building an end-of-life plan will help your friends and family when they need it most, but having a group or team of people that you can trust to carry out your plan is like gold. Known as “The Team,” these are the people you will entrust to work together to fulfill your wishes as you’ve planned and outlined within the pages of your CheckOutPlan.

Consider the scope and size of your life, your possessions and the family and friends who are part of it. Can one person truly handle everything? Even if one person could, what if they are unavailable at the time? It’s always good to have the support of a few people who can help each other carry out your wishes.

Remember, the timeframe from when you develop your CheckOutPlan to when the plan is put into play can be years or even decades after the fact. Since the only constant is change, it’s good to consider alternates and/or back-up Team Members, just in case your first picks are unable or unavailable to carry out their tasks in the future. You want your team well-chosen and well-prepared.

What team members do

Your intrepid Team Members may be called upon to book the venues and caterer, or arrange for food and beverages, purchase floral arrangements and send the guest list with the RSVP request. Basically, your Team Members will do everything that you’ve specified in your CheckOutPlan™ and if well prepared, they will ensure that everything goes smoothly.

While every member is unique, the types of tasks left behind are not. Typical tasks for Team Members are:

– Communicating: with family, friends, the team, vendors and more

– Sorting, packing and cleaning

– Getting bequeathed items to recipients

– Managing the disbursement of unwanted items

– Administrative tasks, such as the booking of venues or approving the event program

– Being the gatekeeper of your memories

– Ensuring information from the plan is shared with the correct parties

– Managing funds and/or raising funds

What makes a great team member?

Now that you know what duties Team Members will likely encounter, it’s time to think of the people in your life and their various abilities and who would be helpful, efficient and a great Team Member.

Team Members support each other. Literally, these people need to be “Team Players.” They need to be willing and available to take care of their assigned CheckOutPlan™ tasks, as well as share information and tasks, and support other Team Members.

Who are the most reliable, trusted family members and friends in your life? Who can you call upon to make sure that the various details of your plan will be fulfilled? Each Team Member should have certain attributes to be considered a great “Team Player.” Qualities needed for all Team Members are:

Trustworthiness – The best Team Members are in your most intimate circle. You can trust them to make good judgement calls when necessary and to do the right thing when called upon.

Reliability – Each individual Team Member must be the type of person to show up, follow through on tasks and get the work done. Choose people you know you can count on.

Availability – Consider how easy it will be for each person to make time to serve as a Team Member. Try to match the duty level with the amount of availability this person may have.

Organized – Team Members are reasonably organized people who can build a plan of their own when needed and effectively and efficiently carry out plans to completion.

Good Judgement & Empathy – Can this person be trusted to make a good judgement call when confronted by some detail that may not have been included in your CheckOutPlan™? Will they consider the needs and emotions of others and be able to be sensitive and compassionate?

Creative Problem Solving & Decision Making – Even the best plans can have hitches. The strongest Team Members have the ability to make things work. They can define the problem, find solutions to difficulties that may arise and chose the right actions for positive outcomes. Instead of avoiding problems or blaming others, they deal with them until a satisfactory resolution is reached.

Strong Communication Skills – To avoid misunderstandings or conflict, your Team Members will have a good grasp of what to say, how to say it and when to say it. Just as important, they need to be able to listen and settle conflict respectfully between other Team Members or family and/or friends that may have opinions about the best way to move forward and do things.

To clearly understand the types of tasks Team Members may need to work through, visit the more complex sections of your plan such as the “Taking Stock” and “Celebrate Your Life” sections.

If you have difficulty putting together words to describe your and your life, you can always check out other eulogies to see what others have said and to get inspired to create something uniquely your own.

The leader of your team

Typically, your Team Lead functions much like an estate executor. Like the captain of a sports team, your Team Lead should be able to be trusted with a wide array of responsibilities. In fact, if you have named an Executor, they will likely function much the same as a Team Lead. It would also be helpful to consult with them with during this Team building process. Since this person will be responsible for directing the bulk of your end-of-life affairs, it would be good to include them in the planning process, and particularly, in selecting the other Team Members.

Your Team Lead should ideally possess all the qualities listed above. Leadership is particularly important for your Team Lead. This individual needs to know how to negotiate, delegate, empathize and make sound, and often quick, decisions. A sense of humour helps, as does a keen sense of order.

Support for your team on CheckOutPlan

Check-Out offers several sections that focus on direction for your team members:

My CheckOutPlan dashboard – Offers tip, hints and insights for team members.
Note: This page can only be viewed by team members when you give them with access to the MyCheckOutPlan dashboard.

• Team Support page – Available on the Check-Out website, this page gives members a good sense of their role and responsibilities.

Saying thank you. Rewards for team members

Allow for a gift, reward or payment in return for the time and energy Team Members will spend. This may be in the way of items you bequeath to Team Members or possibly a cash payment that you can add to your will to ensure that Team Members are taken care of and thanked for fulfilling your end-of-life wishes.

Choosing your Team Lead and building your perfect Team is just one step in your CheckOutPlan™. provides helpful tools and straightforward workspaces to help you create a thorough and detailed end-of-life plan, so you can clearly communicate your wishes and instructions with your Team Members. It also helps you store and share information about yourself to help paint a picture of you at your memorial and beyond. Your documents can be updated and shared with your Team Members any time, and your loved ones can also contribute photos and stories if you’d like. Check-Out makes planning easy and fun, and helps members create and share lasting memories.

Check-Out helps people and their families plan end-of-life events, store their memories and more. Discover how easy and rewarding it is to know you’ve protected your family from the additional grief and conflict that comes from no plan at all. Build a thoughtful CheckOutPlan™ that will support your family and friends when they need it most.

Visit to discover how easy it is… And powerful.

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By C. Bowles for Check-Out Planning Services Ltd.