No one enjoys discussing death and dying, yet it’s an inevitable event in everyone’s life and a time for which we know we need to prepare. While many people have the desire to share their wishes, something often prevents people from openly communicating with their families.
As an important part of estate planning, desired healthcare decisions need to be discussed. This helps preserve your legacy and provide peace of mind for your loved ones should an issue arise. You can rest assured knowing that if they need to act on your behalf, they will carry out your end-of-life wishes as you would want.
If you’ve been dreading having this talk with your own parents, children or other family members, there are a number of steps you can consider.
Schedule a Meeting
Before launching into this tough conversation, it’s not a bad idea to pose the question, “when?” Ask your loved one(s) when they are available to discuss your estate planning and healthcare decisions. By introducing the topic in this matter, no one is caught off guard. Plus, scheduling a time to talk can help everyone reflect on what and how they really want to communicate before sitting down.
Aim for Clarity
Prepare whatever materials you need to help make these conversations clear. It may be helpful to write out a list of major points you want to make. Anticipate that your family may come with questions—inclusion of family members in the decision-making process, preferences for memorials, etc. Simplicity and clarity about your legacy wishes can help neutralize the feelings of anxiety and help everyone walks away from the conversation with peace of mind.
Don’t Get Sidetracked
This can be tough to do. It’s likely no one really wants to have this conversation and would rather talk about something else. In order to be confident your wishes will be carried out, you’ve got to get through the uncomfortable. So even though the conversation will no doubt be rife with opportunity to reflect, remember and opine, try to stay on task. Remember the goal is for everyone to have a better understanding and confidence in the matter than before the conversation.
Keep the Conversation Going
While it may feel like a one-time conversation will suffice because it’s emotional or hard to have if your loved one lives far away, keep in mind this is not a one-time deal. You are simply opening the dialogue, not setting anything in stone. Make a point to let your loved ones know this as well. Remembering this will help empower everyone to be open and keep the conversation moving.
Need Assistance? Give Us a Call!
Talking about your end of life decisions can be difficult but is an essential step to fulfill your end of life wishes. Thankfully the attorneys at BVTLaw are well versed in the matter. We can help relieve some of your fear and anxiety by answering any further questions regarding how to have these conversations or can even help facilitate this discussion with your loved ones. Please feel free to contact us.
We are here to help!