6 Questions to Ask Your Loved One About After-Life Planning
It’s not easy to talk to loved ones about making an after-life plan. When you’re ready to have “the talk,” create an outline with your goals for the meeting and what you plan to ask. Write down your loved one’s hopes and wishes.
Here are 6 questions to kick off your conversation:
1. Do you have power of attorney or health care power of attorney?
Power of Attorney (POA) is a document that allows a designated person to make legal decisions for you if you become unable to make them yourself. It’s incredibly important to have a POA or health care power of attorney when your loved one’s health is deteriorating or if they are experiencing Alzheimer’s Disease, Dementia or other cognitive disorders.
2. Do you have a will?
Only 42% of adults have a will or living trust, according to a Caring.com survey. For adults with children under 18 – only 36%, the number is even lower. If your loved one does not have a will, help them meet with an attorney to create one. You can also create a will online using legalzoom or Rocket Lawyer. Keep your will secure at your lawyer’s office or by using a safety deposit box or fireproof safe.
3. Have you organized financial information?
Ask your loved one to keep their financial information in a secure place. They should include sources of income and liabilities, accounts receivable, bank accounts, real estate, assets, securities and personal property. This document should be safely placed away and only accessed in the event of your loved one’s death.
4. What would you like to do with social media and online accounts?
From our photo collections to music downloads and social media accounts, we all take up personal space on the internet. Ask your loved ones if they would like their accounts deactivated or left alone when they die. Help your loved ones create a list of their online accounts and passwords. When the time comes, everyone will have peace of mind.
5. Who will take care of your pets?
Ask your loved ones who they would like to take care of their pets. Write down their plan for their pets and other possessions.
6. How would you like to be celebrated?
Ask your loved one if they’d like to be buried or cremated and if they would like to be celebrated in a specific way. Are there passages they’d like read at a celebration of life gathering? Would they like their ashes to be scattered at a special place? Asking about this now ensures your loved one’s wishes will be honored after their death.
Though it’s impossible to prepare for everything, planning ahead will ease the anxiety of what is to come. Making choices now gives you time to celebrate your loved one and their memories after they pass, instead of agonizing over tough decisions.
Explore Solace’s fillable worksheets to get organized and be remembered.