"Family Meeting...Let's Talk"
Updated: Jan 26
Do you know where your loved one's life insurance policy is kept, or if they even have one? Is the insurance an accidental, term or whole life insurance? What is the payoff amount upon death? Do you have any idea of the cost of a funeral? Are you able to provide medical information to health care providers about your loved one's medications, allergies, and medical history in case of an emergency? What services are covered under their health insurance? Do they have a Will, Trust, Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy or a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) form in place? If you answered "no" to any of the above questions it is time for a family meeting.
There is no set time, or age to express your wishes to your family. Life is unpredictable and can be taken away at any age or time. It was during a family meeting that I was made aware that my daughter wants to donate all of her organs upon her passing. It was not easy thinking about the possibility of my 29 year old daughter dying. However, I felt at ease knowing her wishes and that she had completed a Health Care Proxy. As a caregiver it is important that you are aware of all the necessary medical and personal information of the person you are caring for to successfully manage their care. If the information is not in your presence you should be aware of where to locate when needed.
I am aware of the struggles you may encounter in an attempt to get important information from an elderly loved one or parent. It is the world’s best-kept secret!! I believe, as we get older we lose so many things, our independence, friends, family members, spouses, health and youth. Therefore, it may seem that the only thing we can hold on to is our money and possessions. I am sure you have heard some of these remarks before, “why are you trying to get into my business? Are you trying to kill me, I am not going anywhere, we have time to talk about that, do we have to talk about this now? Why do you always want to talk about things like that? I have everything in order”.
Maybe we should begin to talk about “things like this” at anytime and stage of our life. I have come to realize that we all will go through difficult times in our lives. Some of our difficulty will be encountered gradually and some suddenly. We work hard to acquire “things” (property, money and other possessions) and tend to forget that it is not just about us. We are blessed to be a blessing. It is our responsibility to empower generations to come with wealth. Patricia Myers author of Embracing The Teardrops states “at the end of life leave a legacy not a liability” Let us keep it flowing from generation to generation. Let us not forget that we will not take possessions with us when we die. I encourage you to not let another day go by, set up a family talk. Get things in order for your loved one and for your self.