(NC) If someone dies without plans in place, there are a
multitude of things to do and decisions to make within 72 hours. This could
lead to a myriad of possible disagreements. Planning ahead can help to
alleviate some of the stress on family members and friends.
Sharing your end-of-life plans with loved ones can be both
difficult and uncomfortable, but doesn’t have to be. Although it’s a challenge,
it’s a conversation that needs to be had to best ensure final wishes are met
To help make the process easier, consider the following
Have an open conversation. It’s
better to discuss difficult decisions rather than relying on loved ones to make
assumptions about your wishes at a time when they’ll be full of emotions. When
discussing your wishes, be honest, forthcoming and offer thoughtful
explanations about the decisions you’ve made.
Assign a ‘doer.’ Your
executor is responsible for making funeral arrangements as well as protecting
your estate. These important duties require a lot of time and effort, along
with the ability to make intelligent, and sometimes difficult, decisions.
Choose someone you know and trust who is comfortable communicating with your
Sharing responsibilities. You’re
never going to make everyone happy and you need to accept that. When it comes
to your final wishes, delegating responsibilities and dividing your assets can
come with some confusion or hurt feelings.
“Many people are uncomfortable, but it can help to
encourage family members to participate in the process of discussing final
plans,” shares Shannon Burberry, branch manager at Arbor Memorial. “When family
members participate, they develop a better understanding of your wishes and the
reasons behind them.”
Act as a mediator. When emotions
are heightened, even the smallest of decisions can stir a reaction from family
members. Encourage others to share their concerns so you can act to remedy
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