How to Talk About End-of-Life Planning With Your Loved Ones

iQuanti: End-of-life conversations are never easy. In fact, many families put off discussing end-of-life wishes until a medical emergency requires it. But delaying the inevitable only means financial decisions may be rushed, and your wishes may not be fulfilled. The good news is there are ways to talk about end-of-life planning with family members to ease the burden. Here are five ways to prepare to talk about end-of-life planning with your loved ones. 

Outline What You Want to Discuss 

It's critical to spend time planning what you want to cover as you talk about end-of-life. This has the dual purpose of preparing you for questions that may arise while also ensuring you don't miss anything. Think about answers to questions like: 

  • Who will be the primary decision-maker for end-of-life care, and is that person the same as or different from the executor of your estate? 
  • What concerns do you want to address specifically? Think about financial topics, healthcare concerns, caring for loved ones who are currently under your supervision, etc. 
  • Who needs to be involved in the conversation? Do you have multiple children or grandchildren you want to include in the conversation? Is there an appropriate time to schedule your talk, perhaps when everyone is already together during the holidays? 
  • How do you want to spend your final days (at home, in a hospital, hospice, etc.)?  

Share Your Vision 

At the core, end-of-life planning is about executing a vision for your legacy. That means sharing your wishes with loved ones is of utmost importance. It's critical to share details like whether you want a funeral or celebration of life, what you want to be done with remains, and how you want to be cared for in your final months or years. 

But it also includes your financial legacy. That means discussing how you want your estate to be handled. For example, if there are causes near and dear to your heart, do you plan to leave assets to a charitable organization, or will the estate be divided among family members? Setting expectations with loved ones up front means there won't be any question about what you want after you're gone. 

Give Access to Necessary Documents 

One of the biggest hassles grieving families face is not having the documentation to get financial affairs in order. Consolidating documents to a single location and providing necessary information in advance can mean less stress later. 

It's essential to include legal documents, account information including passwords, and contacts at insurance companies, financial companies, and banks. In addition, you'll want to be sure your will, power of attorney, and other critical documents are easily accessible, especially those that authorize loved ones to make decisions during your final days. 

Discuss Life Insurance Policies 

Having an appropriate life insurance policy is a critical part of end-of-life planning. And letting your family know the specifics of your policy will make it easier for them to receive the death benefit payout later. Family members should understand how to communicate with the life insurance company, the policy amount, and who your beneficiaries are. 

Reflect on the Conversation and Prepare 

Often, it will take many end-of-life conversations to cover all the bases. So, after you initially sit with loved ones, write down notes for anything you missed and want to cover next time. Also, take note of any key takeaways or to-dos, such as creating an advanced medical directive, power of attorney, or adding a particular family member to your will. 

The Bottom Line 

When presented correctly, talking about end-of-life planning doesn't need to be a difficult conversation. Once loved ones understand it's a conversation to discuss your wishes, you can keep the talking points more factual than emotional. And that means your family can take comfort in knowing you'll be getting what you want when the time comes. 

Source: iQuanti, Inc.


Categories: Lifestyles

Tags: insurance, life insurance, retirement