End of life planning

Planning for end of Life.

Hello friends,
Life is rough.  And  it can often be hard to talk about the rough things with the people you are closest to in life.  If you have mets or love someone who does, this is the one of the most important conversations you will have Here's the thing, everyone is going to die.  All of us!  The thing is, we know that we  are going to die, and we also know what will most likely be the cause.  Talking about your exit from this world is something you should discuss with your partner at the moment you have determined you are committed to each other.  This conversation should happen between the topics of how many kids you want to have and whether or not you are a dog of a cat person.  You should know how you both feel about death.  
The first step should be to meet with an estate planner.  If you have already done this, you are waaaaay ahead of the plan.  If not, stick around, there is a lot more to cover.  So, as I was saying, schedule an appointment with an estate planner.  They will walk you through the process of  making financial plans, funeral/burial/or cremation plans.  They will help you choose a guardian for your kids, your pets or any elderly people under your care.  
End of life plans are as varied as people are. It is the details that make them unique.  Some people want an all out funeral, with a burial and a memorial service.  Others want a cremation with, and others may just donate their bodies to research.  All of these options are just fine.  But remember your loved ones will want to memorialize you in some way. You should decide in advance how you want to be remembered.  Do you want it to be religious, in a bar, at a park.  Do you want a  wake, or a memorial gathering?  You are probably hoping that you will pass away peacefully in your sleep taking everyone by surprise.  But if you have mets you know it is coming.  Best  to prepare.  
There are more things to decide than where you want to be once you are gone.  It is important to know how you want to spend those final days.  As you decline in health, do you want to be at home with visiting home health care?  I have seen both ends of the spectrum.  My father in law passed away at home with hospice.  My sister passed away in CCU.  I myself have decided  that dying at home is not how I want to leave this world.  I would prefer that I have 24 hour a day health care, and that my family not be put in the roll of care giver as they are saying their goodbyes.  It is also important to know and share with your partner how you feel about life saving measures.  If you do not want life saving measures be sure to have your estate planner draw up a do not resuscitate order.  Also make sure your partner or a close friend or family member has power of attorney.  You should make sure that both documents (dnr, and power of attorney) are on record with your oncologist and your hospital or care facility. 
Make sure that your family and friends know who is allowed to be with you at the end.  When my sister died, there were people present who I know my sister did not want to be there.  It made it difficult, as it made her last moments a sort of spectacle.  So, be very clear with everyone who you want with you.  Your care team will make sure that people are kept out who are the not on your list of approved visitors.  
Do you want an obituary?  If you do, do you want someone close to you to write it, the newspaper, or yourself.  You might want your own words used.  Or you may not want an announcement at all.  Just know what you want and be clear about it.  Put it in writing.  
Finally, If you have possessions that you want to go to a specific person, make sure that it is clearly stated in your will.  Perhaps you don't want to do that.  You may want to make sure that you make a gift/memory with the person you are leaving your possession to while you are still here.  Even if that is the case, make sure it is in your will that while you were still alive you gave such and such to so and so that it will not be disputed at a future time.  The purpose of a will is to smooth things as much as possible for you and for the people you leave behind.  In addition, if you have recipes or traditions you want to pass down, put them in writing and share them with all your loved ones while you are still alive to share them.  People who are close to you will cherish these for a life time, and these recipes and traditions will span generations.  
I am positive that there are points that I didn't cover, so do  me a favor and put any thing I missed in the comments below.  I love to hear from you!
Thanks for stopping by, 
Be looking for a video on this topic on Wednesday.
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