As many of you know, for the past two years my mother has been fighting a battle with dementia and sudden total blindness. That battle ended when she passed away just before Christmas last week. Over her last couple years, she was surrounded by daily visits from family members and we hope this helped ease some of the pain she was dealing with.
My parents never did a lot of planning when it came to their finances during most of their lives. I was able to help them both in their later years in a number of important areas. We talked a lot about their farm in Cockeysville and what their desires were for the property. I helped them with the planning for the liquid assets. We ultimately took over paying bills for my mother when she was unable to do so anymore. Most importantly, I helped them develop an estate plan that reflected their desires and goals for what they had accumulated during their lives.
But I did not have the deep conversations about some aspects of Mom’s end of life planning that I probably should have had. While we had clarity on the fact that she did not want her life prolonged unnecessarily, we were not really sure what kind of funeral service she would want. While we worked hard daily on her care to make sure she was in the best setting possible, we were not as clear on other aspects of her wishes.
Once again, I am reminded of how important this conversation is to have with your loved ones. We do not know when our day will come, so having these conversations sooner is always better. We spend so much time planning for the birth of a child, but spend so little time talking about the process of dying, which is just as much a part of life as birth. Groups like The Conversation Project have raised the level of dialogue about planning for the end of life in a way that makes it a more natural conversation.
We encourage you to have these conversations with your loved ones now, don’t wait until it is too late! Planning for death should be as much a part of your overall planning as any other aspect of your life. We are glad to help you get started along this path with resources we feel are helpful in the process.
The views expressed represent the opinions of L.K. Benson & Company and are subject to change. These views are not intended as a forecast, a guarantee of future results, investment recommendation, or an offer to buy or sell any securities. The information provided is of a general nature and should not be construed as investment advice or to provide any investment, tax, financial or legal advice or service to any person.
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