As part of estate planning, you must let your loved ones know about your end-of-life desires. You may not feel prepared to have this conversation, but your children, relatives and friends deserve to know your desires.
AARP offers tips for broaching the subject. Do not leave such a hard decision in the hands of those you hold closest to your heart.
What specific topics would you like to discuss when talking about your end-of-life care desires? Are there matters that you must tend to sooner rather than later to ensure you prepare yourself? Consider weaving talking points into a letter either to yourself or your loved ones that you can read to them. This may help you remember the most essential topics during the actual conversation.
Think about the treatment you want at the end of your life. You may feel comfortable receiving certain medical treatments to extend your life or make you more comfortable, or you may prefer not to receive any treatment. How much involvement do you want your loved ones to have regarding your care? You can appoint someone as your medical power of attorney to speak for you if you cannot make decisions for yourself or voice your wishes.
Make a list of the people you want to join the discussion. Besides family members and close friends, share your wishes with your primary doctor or a leader of your faith. Next, think about an ideal time to have the conversation, such as over the holidays, at the next family reunion or during a family dinner. Realize that having this discussion may bring up disagreements. Another reason to talk about this subject now is so your loved ones can ask you questions and gain clarity while you are of sound mind and body.