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Resting in Peace: Understanding Your End of Life Options

Date : Mar 19,2014
By : Anita Ginsburg

While certainly not one of the most comfortable conversations to have, discussing End of Life Options is very important. It is important for your loved ones to understand what your wishes are for your health care and funeral plans.

Advance Care Planning

Technology has allowed people to live longer, but also creates some hard choices. Talk to your loved ones about your feelings about artificial life support, including nutrition and hydration. What things would you the doctors do? What things do you not want? These are tough questions, but think about what’s important to you now. Communicate what your “ideal” death would look like. Let the people around you know so that they can make decisions for your care with those things in mind.

Living wills and health care powers of attorney can be drawn up to have your wishes in writing. These forms vary from state to state. Your doctor’s office, hospital or hospice have forms and are able to explain what your options are.

An attorney can help you draw up a last will and testament. This helps protect your assets and make sure they end up where you want them. Some websites offer simple wills that you can complete and have notarized. Have a financial power of attorney. Make sure to choose someone you trust. This document gives someone the right to make financial decisions in your place.

Funeral Planning and Burial Options

You can pre-plan your funeral. This includes talking to your loved ones and having things in writing about what you want or don’t want. This helps at the time of death when it is extremely difficult to make decisions.

If you decide to pre-pay, ask questions first. What costs could your family still incur? Does the price you pay now cover the cost no matter when you die? Ideally you are looking for a guaranteed price plan, as this will protect you from price increases over the years. Make sure this in writing.

Make arrangements for your choices when it comes to burial options and locations. If Los Angeles Cremation is your preference, for example, you should get it in writing, and solidify plans. Burial in a cemetery or mausoleum are alternatives. You can purchase these sites ahead of time. Cremation is a less expensive option at the time of death. It is also possible to prepay cremation.

These are certainly difficult conversations to have, but acknowledging that, using some humor and facing the inevitable will save much stress on the ones you love at the time of death.