Information regarding instructions in the event of death.
With instructions in the event of death, you can write down important information (e.g. personal details, documents, bank accounts, powers of attorney) during your lifetime and thereby inform your dependents what they should do after your death. This will be an enormous relief for them at this time of sadness.
What are instructions in the event of death exactly?
With these instructions, you can leave a compilation of important information behind for after your death. For example, you can specify who should be informed regarding your death, where important documents can be found, or share your wishes regarding burial.
Is this the same as a will?
No. The instructions in the event of death is not a last will and testament (such as a will or inheritance agreement, and also does not replace an advance directive. In an advance directive, you can stipulate which medical measures should be allowed if you can no longer express your wishes in the event of illness or accident. Preferences for your funeral can also be defined in an advance directive: In this way, it may overlap with content of the instructions in the event of death. Further information on an advance directive can be found here.
Instructions in the event of death also do not represent a living will. This governs who can represent you when it comes to personal care and financial matters if you are incapacitated.
What can instructions in the event of death govern exactly?
You are free to choose the content. Content may include:
- The name of a trusted person who is to implement the instructions (see section 2 of the template);
- The names of the people who should be notified immediately after your death (see section 3 of the template);
- Information regarding where which documents are stored (e.g. family records, rental contract, powers of attorney, living will) (see section 5 of the template);
- Information regarding bank, postal, and vested benefits accounts; insurance policies, etc. (see section 7 f. of the template);
- Wishes regarding your funeral (see section 10 ff. of the template).
Some important information should, however, not be left out:
- Personal details (first name, last name, date of birth, etc.);
- Name of a trusted person who can implement the instructions;
- Date and own signature.
Which formal provisions must be met?
In general, no formal provisions apply here. However, for clarity they should be issued in writing. Moreover, a trusted person should be informed of where the instructions can be found. You can also make a note in a suitable place regarding where the instructions are stored, for example in your wallet.
How long are the instructions valid for?
If nothing else has been ordered, the instructions continue to apply. As the instructing person, you should also note changes or a partial revocation in writing on the instructions with the date and your signature. If the instructions are stored with someone else or at a place where the instructing person can no longer access them, new instructions in the event of death should be created that include a dated and signed revocation of the previous instructions.
Our template shows you how to draw up such instructions. We also provide you with a sample document.