Discussing Final Wishes With Your Family
Understanding your final wishes or those of your loved ones is more important than most of us think. It isn’t until we need the information or are wading through grief while organising a funeral that we realise it’s too late. These discussions, though hard, are vital and while nobody even wants to discuss a time where their loved one may not be here, the impact of not having the right information at the time can be significant.
When to Open Discussions
Because the topic of death is so taboo, many people continuously push back the need to have these conversations. You may think, ‘I’ll wait until…’ or ‘I’ll talk to them when the time feels right’. Unfortunately, when this time comes, it can be even more challenging than approaching it now. If a loved one becomes ill, their health may have deteriorated so badly that they are unable to give you a coherent and confident response to your questions. Equally, remember that life is precious and fragile – it can be taken from us in the blink of an eye. And if you’re left without clear instruction on what your loved one wants from their end of life plans, it can add more confusion into the mix.
Approach the Subject Delicately
It pays to consider the best way to open these discussions up. If your loved one prefers direct conversation, you may wish to ask, ‘Would you prefer a funeral or cremation?’. Or, ‘Have you got a funeral plan in place?. Or, maybe it’s better to be more indirect and dip in questions to find out what flowers or music they would prefer.
Make a Note of the Details
Make sure you talk in detail with your loved one. There are many different factors to funeral planning and not having the right information can mean it gets left to you and your family to come up with the most suitable choice. You need to know things such as whether there is a funeral plan in place, what end of life care they would be happy with and where information about insurance policies can be found.
If they would rather keep the information discrete until they pass, they can write a Letter of Wishes or create an organised system of keeping all relevant information safe until it’s needed.
Discussing final wishes can be a challenging conversation to have. But it is one of the most important ones you can have. At Wallace Stuart Limited, we’re here to make the process of organising and laying your loved one to rest as easy as possible. Let’s talk if you need help carrying out their wishes.