There’s nothing like being thrown into a crisis to make you realize that you haven’t planned as well with your family as you needed to. Here are a few tips to ensure you’re ready if a predicament were to occur:
- Have the right to documents Make sure your loved one has a will, a health care power of attorney and a power of attorney for financial decisions. These documents ensure he or she will be cared for according to their wishes.
- Make a family plan Discuss caregiving matters with all involved members of your family, and have your loved one put in writing who will be responsible for which caregiving roles — and have all parties sign.
- Organize Documents Have a file with birth and marriage certificates, divorce decrees, citizenship papers, death certificate of a spouse or parent, power of attorney, deeds to property and cemetery plots, veteran’s discharge papers, insurance policies, and pension benefits. Be sure the documents are all in one place and someone knows where they are located.
It’s not an easy conversation, but being prepared for a family crisis is essential. Consider having a series of small, brief discussions to avoid overwhelming your loved one – or yourself! Planning ahead shows you are taking on responsibility as well as making sure your parent’s wishes are honored.