Mosley Offers Helpful, Practical 'Upon My Death' Checklist


Rev. Grady Mosley, pastor of Madison First UMC, has written a booklet on planning end-of-life decisions. He shared the booklet with his congregation in 2019, emphasizing that leaving your wishes in writing is a faithful and loving gift to those you leave behind. 

In the material, he suggests:

  1. Make sure you have recently completed advance directives and health care power of attorney forms. These let your loved ones and your doctors know your wishes in the event you cannot tell them.
  2. Leave written instructions for what to do with your body after you pass. Do you wish to be buried or cremated? Do you wish to donate your organs? Have you made financial provisions to take care of your wishes? Do you have a cemetery plot or a place in a mausoleum?
  3. Have you selected and met with a funeral director? Have you made provisions for the services you wish for them to perform? What sort of vessel do you desire for your remains or cremains? Have you prepaid or left provision for these services?
  4. Have you written down your wishes for a service? Where do you wish for your service to take place? Who would you like to preside and/or speak? What are your desires for hymns and music? Do you wish for there to be an open casket, a closed casket, an urn, or pictures? Are you a veteran or first responder, and do you wish your service to be recognized?
  5. People may wish to honor you with flowers or a gift. Have you made your wishes known with regard to your favored charities?
  6. Have you let your loved ones know what sort of visitation and/ or fellowship event you would like?
  7. Have you spoken to those who you wish to execute and represent your wishes in making these decisions? Have you told them exactly where your wishes are written down and how to access them when they need to? Have you notified the individuals you have appointed as executor(s) of your will and let those who will implement your final wishes know who the executor is?

Download the checklist.

This article is adapted from an article by the Georgia United Methodist Foundation.