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Your life and death support teams

There are many ways to define the various teams, based on life events and what it all means. Below are some potentially critical categories, but you may identify other teams that fit your lifestyle better. You can have as few or as many as you see fit, and for how prepared you want to be for whichever eventualities you feel are best to prepare for.

Take time to do a quick review, then focus on the lists that are most likely to be used/needed soonest. Look at your lists from two different perspectives: who needs to know you are unavailable, and what needs to be done for you or by someone else when you are out of the picture. It all depends on how involved other people are in your life already.

And please never ever consider that doing this is some sort of burden on the other person. You may in fact be saving them a lot of stress, anxiety, and work if you are prepared.



This is the team that will step up when you are ill or injured and cannot take care of yourself.

  • Health Proxy
  • Family Doctor
  • Health Care Provider(s)
  • Mental Health Care Provider
  • Supporting cast: Trusted family/friend



If you are caregiving someone or have dependents (child/adult, pets), this team is your backup if you get knocked out of the game.  Think about what you need right away, short-term and longer-term solutions, based on how long you may be out of commission.

  • In-home care or alternate living arrangements
  • Landlord/tenant
  • Medical/pharmacy
  • POA
  • Respite service provider

NOTE: Caregiver burnout is a real thing, so when you take on a caregiver role, be sure you have a respite and emergency plan.

Review what you will do in different situations. Consider having a single point of contact and a plan in place so those you are caregiving and other members of their family calls or e-mails the same person in the event of an emergency. And have a backup person. Just in case.



If you own a business, have an emergency plan and contact list related to reducing impact to your business if you are a key contributor.

If you are an employee, have a plan for if work needs to be contacted when you are out of commission/dead.

  • Manager
  • Building landlord (if office/retail space)
  • Insurance Company
  • Utilities
  • Major trade partners/suppliers
  • Shareholders
  • Employer



If you are active in your community, have social groups or sports teams you participate in that are not associated with work or family, this list ensures the groups are informed when you are out of commission.

  • Volunteer coordinator
  • Board members
  • Committee Chair
  • Church, community league
  • Sports affiliate, gym, or team
  • Hobby groups, formal or informal


EOL (End of Life) TEAM

This is the team that will be involved with the physical end of your life.

  • Funeral Director/Funeral Home
  • Death Doula
  • Life Transition Planner
  • Palliative/Hospice Care Provider(s)
  • Supporting cast: Trusted family/friend




This is the team that will be involved with your estate, either planning or executing, and should include people that have a stake in your estate.

  • Power of Attorney
  • Executor
  • Wills & Estate Lawyer
  • Bank/Credit Union
  • Accountant/Bookkeeper
  • Financial Advisors (Investments, Insurance, Accounting, planned giving, trusts))
  • Supporting cast: Trusted family/friend, Realtor, Assessor