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Aging parents should discuss their end of life wishes

It's inevitable that everyone in Kent, will one day have to face the end of their lives. Hopefully, it will be at a time when the person has lived a long and fulfilling life. At this time, many Kent residents have parents that are aging and, therefore, discussing end-of-life wishes such as a living will is important.

Children of aging parents may believe that their parents already have a plan in place for their end-of-life care and requests. Many think that their parents already have a will and other estate planning documents. Or, they think their parents have opinions about what will happen when they approach death and that their parents will bring it up one day. But, many parents are reluctant to bring up this topic with their children even though it is extremely important.

Children of aging parents should bring up end-of-life issues with their parents sooner rather than later. These discussions should include health care directives. If parents are providing clues that they are working on their estate that can be a good time to discuss the matter. If they have mentioned that they're meeting with an attorney, pre-planning a funeral or other estate planning event it can be a good time to ask parents if they have a plan in place.

Setting up plenty of time to discuss everything is also extremely important. When children meet with their parents to discuss end-of-life issues it is important for the children to keep in mind that it is their parent's wishes and not theirs that are important. So, if a child wouldn't choose cremation but their parents would, that's not their choice to make.

Discussing end-of-life issues with parents and other aging relatives can be difficult. But, it can also help a family feel like they are prepared for the inevitable and know that their wishes will be carried out.

Source: The Huffington Post, "What your aging parent isn't telling you-I want to discuss end-of-life issues", Patrick O'Brien, Feb. 29, 2016

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