Build a Lasting End-of-Life Plan in 2020

Use that 20/20 Vision to Build the Ultimate EOL Plan

Welcome to the new decade! A new year, a new you… Hopefully, an organized and proactive you. A you that lives in the now, but anticipates the future. A you that moves through life confident in the knowledge that you have prepared to the best of your ability.

Planning and organizing activities are at an all-time high with endless resources all emphasising the importance of decluttering life, mind and soul by organizing your space, orchestrating your daily activities and managing your time. Crafty communities love to make daily to-do lists in creative planners complete with inspiring artwork and slogans. The result? Either a meltdown at the enormity of the tasks ahead or a sigh of relief that nothing is left undone. What we know for sure is that when a giant task is broken down into small bits conquering it becomes feasible rather than overwhelming.

The “planners” of the world like to be prepared and control outcomes wherever possible. As a result, End-of-Life (EOL) planning has become buzzworthy. It makes good sense. We plan when we want to maximize our chances of success. We plan our workdays and for vacations and retirement. Providing a framework for a successful departure would be the next logical step. Thus, EOL plans such as those provided by companies like are an asset built by you, but that benefits many.

The act of preparing an EOL plan helps people take control and reduces loved ones’ stress, anxiety and uncertainty about last wishes and the future. The plan guides and instructs loved ones, as well as protects prized possessions, such as beloved pets and cherished treasures, by providing clear instruction for their distribution. Wouldn’t you rather create a Success Plan for your pets to ensure they don’t end up in an animal shelter, or with someone who didn’t know how to properly care for them?

Procrastination Versus Planning: A Mighty Battle

Despite our best intentions, we all procrastinate at times. We appear to be ingrained with avoiding things that are difficult or that don’t seem time sensitive. After all, we’d rather be walking the dog or trying out the new tapas bar than, gasp, writing our wills or planning what happens after our demise.

While it’s never too early to plan for end-of-life events and build an online legacy, it can certainly be too late. According to a 2019 survey conducted by, over 50% of Americans have talked about estate planning, but less than half have actually put their words into action. As the generations get younger, the percentage without a will or plan increases. The main reason? Procrastination.

In the New York Times article, “Six Tips for Getting Things Done in 2020” by Tim Herrera, he notes that it’s attention management not time management that is the key to accomplishing things. He asks you to consider: “What are the things I care about, and what are the things I want to devote my attention to?”

Besides embracing attention management, Herrera urges you to take control of your procrastination, which Dr. Piers Steel, author of “The Procrastination Equation: How to Stop Putting Things Off and Start Getting Stuff Done,” succinctly sums it up as self-harm.

At Check-Out, we believe that procrastination not only harms the self but others too, because it can be mistaken by loved ones as indifference. And, it doesn’t help that when it comes to end-of-life planning, many people remain unimpressed and think, Who cares? Just roll me into a grave… I’ll be dead anyway! However, once a person experiences the pain and distress of losing someone firsthand, they quickly learn just how many details and decisions lay in wait. Rather than defer this important step in getting one’s house in order, we suggest that people consider an EOL plan as something they invest in over time. It’s a plan that truly grows as you do. In order to live fully today, it’s helpful to think about tomorrow, and what follows. Now that’s 20/20 vision!

What Is an End-Of-Life (EOL) Plan and Why Do You Need One?

Dying is a complicated business these days. This singular event affects so many but in a myriad of different ways, with difficult decisions to be made and a flurry of details left to attend to. What’s more, the death industry itself is extremely complex and includes everything from obituaries to memorials, to dealing with lawyers and various levels of government. However, it’s often the little things that present the biggest hurtles. For example, the sorting and distribution of personal possessions, the loss of family history and trying to honor a loved one’s legacy are often cited as the most stressful challenges.

When loved ones aren’t sure what actions to take, confusion rules, quickly followed by panic. Precious things get tossed or fought over. Decisions can become overwhelming and possessions can end up in long-term storage, costing your estate. Without a plan, the unguided, grieving family is often driven by emotion, and it shows. A family following an EOL plan will be more proactive and confident in their choices.

The EOL plan is one of the best gifts you can give your family and friends. Make the tough decisions, so they don’t have to. Have a voice. How do you want your loved ones to celebrate your extraordinary life and say goodbye? How would you like to be remembered?

The Importance of a Plan in Action

When a loved one dies, the many details of their life need to be concluded. While there are legal mechanisms in place, such as wills to deal with material assets like homes, debt and cash, or living wills that give direction in a medical emergency, often little attention is given to the other details that also matter.

As an Emergency nurse at a large urban hospital, L. Leduc, BScN, RN, sees the need for this type of planning every day. She shares, “I often meet people and their families on the worst day of their lives. In the most serious cases, I really feel an end-of-life plan would support both patients and their loved ones during such an emotional and difficult time.” She goes on to say, “Patients have more peace of mind knowing their wishes are clear, and their friends and family will feel better prepared to organize the expected end-of-life obligations.”

Ms. Leduc confides, “I’ve even been building my own CheckOutPlan. It’s super easy.” She enthuses, “Anybody can, and everybody should do this!” Like others, Ms. Leduc has found that planning is made simple with Check-Out and that its seven steps guide her and pre-written letters and prompts helped get her started.

How CheckOutPlan Saves the Day

CheckOutPlan is a secure online planning tool that’s divided into seven easy steps designed specifically to help you achieve a comprehensive and supportive EOL plan. It deals with useful details, such as what you want included at your memorial and cataloguing your possessions.

You can upload photos and descriptions of your beloved collections in Check-Out’s “Taking Stock” section to prevent them from getting tossed, as so often happens. You can upload private documents and even write your eulogy. If you have pets, the plan prompts you to make sure they’re taken care of and loved after you’re gone. You’re also asked to add Team Members to help fulfil your wishes when the time comes. Team Members can also help each other with executing tasks and provide each other support in a difficult time.

Since talking about mortality with family and friends can be challenging, Check-Out offers an entire section dedicated to reaching out to loved ones by using pre-written letters and emails to invite them to help, ask for their input and contribute to your plan. Sharing memories, stories and family histories are also encouraged.

Make building your EOL plan a priority, instead of putting it off for some other day, because as CCR told us, “Someday Never Comes.” There’s no better time than now to make your EOL plan as we welcome the new decade, 2020. This is the year! May planning conquer procrastination!

Written by C. Bowles & T.M. Brown,  Released January 16, 2020

Check-Out helps people and their families plan end-of-life events, store their memories and more. Build a thoughtful CheckOutPlan that will support your family and friends when they need it most.

Get started and visit today for a 7-day free trial. This is one of the most important plans you’ll ever build.