Originally published by Robert Kraft.
It’s sometimes difficult for families to discuss end-of-life issues because the subject is not a happy one. However, failing to make plans for what should happen when you are no longer able to make your own decisions can cause much anxiety for your family. Sometimes families second-guess a loved one’s intentions when those intentions were not stated prior to a serious illness or death. This can lead to feelings of guilt, conflict among siblings and a host of other problems. There are some things seniors can do to prevent these problems from occurring.
Hold a Family Meeting
A family meeting is an opportunity for you to make your wishes known. If you don’t want to spend months hooked up to machines or being given experimental drugs, let your family know. If you are an organ donor, make sure your doctor and your family are aware of your wish to help other families in this way. These are usually heart-wrenching decisions for families to make, which is why letting your family know your desires ahead of time will make things easier.
Complete Your Advance Directives
An example of an advance directive is the power of attorney. Your health care power of attorney allows you to appoint a person to make health care decisions for you when you cannot make them. A power of attorney can also give another person permission to take care of your personal and business affairs if you are incapacitated. An attorney can help you set up your advance directives. In many areas, senior services programs have staff or volunteers that specialize in helping older adults with advance directive paperwork.
Get Your Affairs in Order
Work with an estate planning attorney to make sure your wishes will be carried out after death. He or she can recommend the best way to handle your estate. Any legal papers such as wills, insurance policies, banking information, a list of your creditors, deeds, and other important papers should be organized and in a place where your family can find them easily. To get the legal help you need for estate planning, consider a consultation from J Peterman Legal Group Ltd.
Review Your Advance Directives Periodically
As you have life events that might impact your advance directives or your estate, you may need to make changes to those directives. If the person you selected to handle your business dies or no longer wishes to accept the responsibility, you will need to appoint another individual to handle your affairs.
Once you put these safeguards in place, you will feel better knowing that your family will be able to carry out your wishes. Additionally, your family will feel less anxiety and stress. These tips can help you get started on making important decisions that should be taken care of as soon as possible.
This article is courtesy of Anita Ginsburg, a freelance writer from Denver who often writes about home, family, law and business. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family when she isn’t writing.
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