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GENERAL GLOSSARY

Welcome to the EOMO Glossary. This guide helps you do the following:

  • Define frequently used terms in EOMO
  • Provide information on important topics
  • Link to helpful resources

ADVANCED HEALTH CARE DIRECTIVE - Also known as a “living will”, a health care declaration or directive to the physician, a written document that gives explicit instructions about medical treatment to be administered when a patient is terminally ill or permanently unconscious. It can be revoked by the patient at any time.

Free Advanced Health Care Directive forms and instructions are available for each state and the District of Columbia at www.caringinfo.org or by calling 1-800-658-8898.

ASSET - Property owned by a person or organization to which a value can be assigned.

BENEFICIARY – A person(s) eligible to receive distributions or benefits from a trust, will, life insurance policy, etc. Review and update your beneficiary designations periodically or immediately after a life event. If your beneficiary designations are not up to date, your beneficiary may be determined by Federal or state laws rather than by your wishes. Consult with your trusted advisors.

BURIAL CHOICES – Deciding on the type of burial to memorialize you or your loved one is a personal decision. Each state has its own laws which regulate funerals and cremation services. At a minimum, these laws require funeral homes to provide you with an accurate price list for products and services, including disclosures, so that you can make an informed decision about the type of funeral services you want. The Federal Trade Commission Funeral Rule and general information can be found at www.consumer.FTC.gov.

TYPES OF BURIALS

  • Earth or In-Ground Burial: The deceased is placed in the ground. A gravesite and memorial marker can be purchased in advance or at the time of death. The gravesite is prepared (opened) by the cemetery. The burial typically involves a casket, a traditional cemetery burial, closing of the gravesite, a memorial marker, and perpetual landscaping of the plot. Religions and customs dictate the burial process.
  • Cremation: Cremation is arranged by a funeral director in accordance with state laws. Cremation remains can be scattered, kept in an urn, placed in a community mausoleum niche, placed in an urn mausoleum (called a columbarium), or buried in a gravesite. For individual state laws on cremation, go to: www.cremation.com.
  • Mausoleum: A building that is used to house the casketed remains of the decease above-ground.
  • Community (Public) Mausoleum: An above-ground structure memorializing more than one individual. A secure enclosure that does not come in contact with the earth.
  • Private Mausoleum: A private above-ground structure built specifically at an individual’s request to entomb family members. A highly personalized, secure enclosure that does not meet the earth.
  • Crypt: A pre-made tomb or vault of concrete and steel installed underground in an excavated area covered with soil and grass. Crypts come in several sizes. Although singles and doubles are the most common, some crypts can accommodate up to four caskets. Caskets can be placed at either double depth or side by side. The space always remains clean and dry with a water drainage system directly below the area to provide added protection from weather.

CANCELLING DIGITAL ACCOUNTS – No standard method exists for cancelling digital accounts in the event of death or incapacitating illness. Accounts not cancelled remain open. Providers establish their own procedures for cancelling/closing accounts. Go to each website and read “Terms and Conditions,” for cancelling accounts.

DELEGATE – A trusted family member, friend and or advisor who can access your EOMO quickly in the event of an emergency. Your Delegate(s) ensures your wishes and decisions are made known to those who need to know.

DIGITAL EXECUTOR – A trusted person designated to manage your digital assets if you are no longer able to do so. This person pays any debts or maintenance fees on behalf of your estate. Your Estate Executor can also be your Digital Executor.

DNI - Do Not Intubate (DNI) - Medical order written by a physician at the request of the patient or his/her designee to direct health care providers not to intubate. Specific laws governing this order vary by state. Check your state of residence requirements.

DNR - Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) - Medical order written by a physician at the request of the patient or his or her designee to direct health care providers not to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if a patient’s breathing stops or if the patient’s heart stops beating. Specific laws governing this order vary by state. Check your state of residence requirements.

DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY - Legal document designating a trusted person to act as your proxy or agent to make decisions for you in the event you become mentally incapacitated and cannot communicate your wishes and or handle your affairs. A Durable Power of Attorney is needed for health care and financial decisions. Your proxy or agent for health care and financial matters may or may not be the same individual.

EXECUTOR - Individual(s) named in a will or appointed by a court to carry out the instructions contained in a will.

FUNERAL, MEMORIAL AND LIFE CELEBRATION PLANNING - Arrangements that ensure your wishes are met. Advanced planning can spare your loved ones the stress of making decisions under pressure of time and great emotion.

  • Funeral is a service where the body/remains are present. A Memorial or Life Celebration is a service where the body/remains are not present.
  • Life Celebration is a modern term for a memorial service that focuses on celebrating rather than mourning and is tailored to meet your wishes.
  • End-of Life Celebration is a celebration held prior to death.
  • Pre-Arranged Funeral, Memorial and Life Celebration Plans – Plans documenting your arrangements and decisions in advance. EOMO’s End of Life Worksheets provide a structure to document your plan.
  • Pre-Paid Funeral, Memorial and Life Celebration Plans – Designated savings account, insurance policy or other plan that partially/fully funds funeral, memorial and life celebration expenses, e.g., burial plot, memorial service, casket, vault, and or limousine service. Pre-paid arrangements also can be made directly with designated funeral directors. Pre-paid funeral plans can be considered legal contracts. Each state has laws to protect the consumer.

Go to: www.consumer.FTC.gov

  • Funeral and Cremation Resources:

www.consumer.FTC.gov - Federal Trade Commission funeral laws and general information about funeral options

www.cremation.com - State cremation laws

www.funerals.org - Funeral Consumer Alliance, a non-profit organization protecting a person’s right to choose a dignified and affordable funeral

www.cem.VA.gov - Department of Veterans Affairs – Burial and memorial service benefits for veterans

GO-TO-PERSON – An individual who knows how to get things done when you and or your loved ones need extra support. This is someone you trust and always has your best interests in mind. Depending upon the need, it may be more than one individual.

HEALTH CARE PROXY – (Also referred to as “Health Care Representative”) A written document that appoints an individual to communicate your wishes and make health care decisions for you if you cannot speak for yourself.

LEGACY - Gift of personal property or money as designated in a will. EOMO uses Legacy as a category in the Financial Life section to include: Home Insurance, Life Insurance, Specialty Insurance, Vehicle Insurance, Philanthropy and Trusts.

LIABILITY - Debts and other financial obligations for which a person is responsible.

LIMITED POWER OF ATTORNEY - Legal document that grants someone you select to act on your behalf for a limited purpose. Once satisfied, the limited power of attorney expires.

LIVING WILL - A written document that gives explicit instructions about medical treatment to be administered when a patient is terminally ill or permanently unconscious. A Living Will is also referred to as “Advanced Health Care Directive,” “Health Care Declaration,” or a “Directive to Physician.” This document can be revoked by the patient at any time.

ORGAN, EYE AND TISSUE DONATION – Registering as an organ donor is a personal decision. There are two ways to register. You can sign up online or in-person at your local motor vehicle department. Your driver’s license or photo is required for identification. Tell your family that you have registered as a donor so they can support your wishes. Each state has its own procedures. Go to www.organdonor.gov to register.

PASSWORDS – Managing passwords is challenging. You can: 1) be your own Password Manager and use EOMO to record your passwords, usernames and security questions/answers (Go to Personal Life Worksheets); 2) use a commercial Password Manager app (costs may apply), e.g., 1Password, Dashlane, or LastPass and use EOMO to record the Password Manager contact information; or 3) use a combination of the two approaches.

PASSWORD MANAGER – Software application which stores your passwords. Costs may apply. Each user creates a master password -- a single, ideally very strong password which grants the user access to their entire password database. This master password is encrypted requiring you to remember only one password.

PHILANTHROPY - Specific gift given to improve the material, social, and spiritual welfare of humanity, especially through charitable activities.

PROBATE - Legal process whereby a will is “proved” in a court and accepted as a valid, public document that is the true last testament of the deceased.

TRUST - Legal arrangement by which one person --a trustee--holds and manages money and or property belonging to somebody else.

TRUSTEE - Individual who is given the legal authority to manage money and or property on behalf of somebody else.

SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS – Benefits provided for retirement, disability and survivors. The rules for eligibility and calculating benefits can be complicated. However, there are good resources at www.ssa.gov or by calling 1-800-772-1213.

SOCIAL SECURITY STATEMENT - Personal record of the earnings on which you have paid social security taxes during your working years and a summary of the estimated benefits you and your family may receive as a result of these earning. You can get a copy of your Social Security Statement also at www.ssa.gov or by calling 1-800-772-1213.

WILL - Legal document by which a person expresses his or her wishes as to how money and property are to be distributed upon death, and it names an executor to manage the estate until final distribution of the estate is made.

If you die without a last will (known as dying intestate), the state will decide how your property is distributed. Each state has its own laws about how intestacy works.

The main purpose of a will is to ensure that your wishes and not the default laws of the state will be followed upon your death. Your will appoint someone to settle your affairs, choose who will receive your property and decide who will raise your children.