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End of Life Planning: Family Doesn't Want to Talk

End of life planning

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At age 70, you know you need to start thinking about end-of-life issues. Your children say you're young yet and keep putting off the subject. How do you begin a serious discussion that your kids can't ignore?

Remember, when it comes to end-of-life issues, you're the key person. These are primarily your decisions and so you can go ahead and think about them without input from anybody. There are many resources that could help you put together something like a living will or advance directive. You can produce it and give it to the children. (See the section in this guide on advance directives.) That will force the discussion. If they disagree with what's in the document, it's up to THEM to initiate a discussion.

Appointing a power of attorney can also be a way to focus the discussion. If you want to do this, start with: "Judy. I know that stuff about dying is hard to talk about, but I am at an age when I really need to make some plans. I'd like you to have power of attorney if I ever get into a situation where I can't make decisions for myself. Would you be willing to help me by doing this?"

Please download the full "70-40" Rule® Booklet (PDF 600K).

Last revised: December 7, 2010

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