The holiday season is officially in full swing. Whatever it is you celebrate this time of year, chances are, family gatherings are on your calendar. Maybe your kids are coming into town for a visit. Maybe you’re packing up to take your own kids to visit their grandparents. Maybe your family is a chosen family that you’ll be spending time with over the next few weeks. Regardless of your demographic, eventually, you need to talk about your estate planning and end of life wishes with the people you are trusting to make decisions for you when you can’t make them yourself.
Perhaps the one thing we ALL have in common is that we are ALL going to age and eventually die. I looked it up – it’s a fact. Chances are, at some point, someone else will need to make decisions for you (at your advance behest) for your health care, financial wellbeing, and end of life preferences. Talking to those people about what you actually want them to do (or not do) for you is an essential step in the planning process…both for you, and for them.
Giving someone license to (eventually and potentially) make a decision to end your life is a big deal. That’s really what you’re doing when you appoint an Agent via your Health Care Power of Attorney. A face-to-face conversation with them about what your wishes are can go a long way towards helping them navigate what can be a complex and confusing decision-making process.
Even if you aren’t comfortable sharing the details of your estate planning with your family, letting them know that you’ve done planning, where your documents are, and who to contact for more information if something happens to you is key. It’s your life – make sure the people you are trusting it to are prepared to make decisions akin to what you’d make for yourself.