Death is one of the most unpleasant certainties of life, and since there’s no way around it, the best thing we can do is prepare ourselves the best we can. When a loved one passes away, they leave behind their property, debts, bills, and burial expenses. Not only does the passing of a loved one cause grief, but it can also be a source of confusion and chaos.
The best way to not add stress to your grief when your loved one passes is to have some uncomfortable discussions with them while they’re still here. Even though nothing can make talking about end-of-life preparations easier, we can at least help you know where to start. Continue reading to learn more about what you should discuss with your terminally ill or elderly loved one before they pass away.
End of Life Care
When age or illness takes hold of a body, they can render a person helpless. One of the hardest things for independent adults to do is admit that they’re no longer in the condition to care for themselves, so be sensitive when approaching this topic.
Determining what the best care solution is for your loved one can be difficult. You may want to care for them yourself but if you can’t be there for them around the clock, then you may not be the best option.
If your loved one is in constant discomfort or doesn’t have long to live, then hospice care could be the best solution for them. Contrary to popular belief, hospice care doesn’t mean that you’re giving up but as a type of end-of-life care, it focuses on helping terminally ill people to be as comfortable and pain-free as possible.
Care and Living Expenses
The living expenses for people dealing with a terminal illness is much higher than it is for most people. They have to deal with the costs of medication, special equipment, and visits to the doctor’s office. On top of all of the extra expenses, they probably can’t work.
If you or a loved one is out of work and facing a mountain of bills due to a terminal or chronic illness, then you should consider getting a viatical settlement. A viatical settlement is a type of cash settlement specifically for people who are nearing the end of their life and need money right now.
Getting a viatical settlement is like cashing in your life insurance policy. Certain financial institutions will pay you cash for your life insurance policy, with the cash value of the settlement depending on the life expectancy of the insured. You can use your viatical settlement to cover everything from living expenses and vacations to medication and treatment.
Arrangements for Your Loved One’s Remains
One of the hardest things to discuss with your loved one is what to do with their remains. But whether they plan to be buried or cremated, it’s important to get their input on their funeral arrangements.
If finances are a concern, then you may want to consider cremation services over a traditional burial. While funeral costs can balloon to over $10,000 with casket and burial expenses, cremations can be as low as under $1,000. Furthermore, if your loved one chooses cremation over burial, then you can keep their ashes as a memorial or scatter them at a place of your loved one’s choosing.
Your Loved One’s Will
Fallouts over inheritance are one of the worst things that can happen to a family — they even tear some families apart forever. To prevent this from happening in your family, you should have a conversation with your loved one about their will.
Even if your loved one has already written their will, then it’s still important for the family to know who will be the executor of the will. Having these discussions while your loved one is still here could mitigate a lot of confusion and tension in your family when your loved one passes away.