Assurance. Manageable. Realistic. Just some of the words people say they want not only for themselves but for their parents when faced with thinking or even overseeing end-of-life issues. Making sure that the proper documents and action plans have been methodically put into place so we are not a burden on anyone is only common sense – yet rarely done. It’s only natural that other things take precedence, as topics revolving around these issues are uncomfortable at best. Unfortunately, procrastination just opens the door for devastating emotional and financial consequences later.
For most, the thought of end-of-life directives, Medicare, long term care, Medicaid qualification, probate and funeral plans cause anxiety. Not only is the subject matter intimidating, it becomes personal as you are faced with thinking about mortality. The good news is that if you understand the basics, precautionary measures can be implemented today that will eliminate costly mistakes.
It’s difficult to have “the talk” with your parents or spouse; however, countless families have shared with me that if they had been made aware of the many options available ahead of time and given a choice, proactive and preventive measures would have been put into place.
The end-of-life decisions that each of us will face will never be worry-free, but if you have the ability to remove as much of the tension and stress beforehand, people will be able to focus on what’s really important. Adult children tell me that when their parents have done this for them, it was the greatest act of love and gift they have ever received from their parents. Conversely, adult children whose parents did not take proactive measures repeatedly say that they will not put their children through what they had just experienced.