By Estate and Asset Protection Attorney Rick Law. Founder of the Multi-generational Estate Planning Center At Law ElderLaw in Aurora. Serving Kane, Kendall, DuPage Will and Cook counties in Illinois.
They say the only two assurances in life are death and taxes, so most people can consider that they are going to die…someday. Actually accepting this truth is another feat altogether. This commonplace denial goes a long way to explain the fact that 85% of the adult population are without a simple will, power of attorney, or health care directive…
I recall the instance about 40 years ago (my how time flies!), when my wife I announced to her parents that we were expecting our first child. Having been raised in an era where that conversation was a cultural taboo, my father-in-law inquired innocently if it was okay to talk about someone being pregnant… my, how things have changed!
These days we need only to glance through our social media accounts to be subjected to conversations about PMS or flagging male libido. Even in this time when “anything goes,” I’m often surprised to encounter a familial taboo.
As an estate planning attorney, I facilitate discussions about life, death, and disability. When I begin this conversation with clients and their families, I almost always run into resistance. Even terminally ill seniors will often say, “Funerals are for the living, so do whatever you want. Why should I care?” But families really want to know how their loved ones feel about these issues. When seniors choose to talk about it, they often find it very meaningful to share their expectations.
A Final Arrangement Conversation should have at least two distinct elements:
- A written expression of your attitudes and desires for life-prolonging treatment (or lack thereof) in the event that you are incapacitated, have been diagnosed as being terminally ill, or are suffering from a long-term memory-robbing illness; and
- A written expression of your attitudes, desires, expectations, payment source, etc. regarding your final wishes–how your family should handle your funeral, burial, cremation, religious tradition, probable cost, music, choices of service providers, etc
Although it’s difficult, I recommend that you take the time to have the Final Arrangement Conversation with your family. Once we overcome this conversational taboo, the discussion almost always ends with a hug.
If you’re ready to start getting your estate in order and secure your assets for the “worst-case” scenario, please give our office a call at 800-310-3100. Your first consultation is absolutely free. We’ll let you know what steps you need to take, right now, to protect yourself and your family. Call now.
Rick L. Law, Attorney, Estate Planner for Retirees.
Rick was named the #1 Illinois elder law estate planning attorney by Leading Lawyer Magazine. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, AARP Magazine, TheStreet.com, and numerous newspapers and articles. His goal is to give retirees an informed edge when it comes to dealing with an uncertain future. Get flexible retirement strategies that work during good times and bad, plus information on how you can save your home and assets from being used to pay for long term care. Call 800-310-3100 for your free consultation now!