Terminal Diagnosis

4 Things You Need to Plan When Dealing With a Terminal Diagnosis

4 Things You Need to Plan When Dealing With a Terminal Diagnosis. Today’s guest blog is by Marie Villeza of Health Central. The opinions expressed by the author in this and all guest blogs are not necessarily those of The Attorneys For Freedom Law Firm.

Terminal Diagnosis

4 Things You Need to Plan When Dealing With a Terminal Diagnosis

When a loved one is diagnosed with a terminal illness, it can be difficult to know what to do. Coming to terms with such a devastating diagnosis will take some time, but you should also help your loved one make some arrangements that can make the time ahead of you a little easier. Here are some plans you may want to make in advance when you or a loved one is terminally ill.

Iron Out Any Legal or Financial Issues

Dealing with a terminal illness often means dealing with some very important end-of-life decisions. Your loved one will want to speak with an attorney in order to update their will and ensure they will always be able to get the care you need, even when they cannot ask for that care on their own. To prepare for the time when making medical decisions will be impossible for the ill individual, it is important to think about the legal ways of providing legal authority to act on their behalf.  This will allow caregivers to focus more on meeting medical, and care needs when the time comes, rather than being worried about establishing legal authority with a power of attorney, a living will, or a Social Security representative to make those important decisions possible.

4 Things You Need to Plan When Dealing With a Terminal Diagnosis

Be Understanding About Final Care Wishes

In addition to setting up a power of attorney, you or your loved one may also want to consider writing out some advanced-care directives, or at least talking about what those final care wishes are. This allows you or your loved one to make decisions now about how the end of life is to be handled—but the process does involve some pretty tough questions. You will need to know if a feeding tube should ever be an option, whether a breathing machine or life support systems can be used, and finally, whether organs should be donated. Organ donation can be a bit tricky when the donor is terminally ill, so make sure you or your loved one understand the complications and are okay with dealing with them.

Have a Talk About Their Finances

If you or your loved one is terminally ill, drafting a will and estate plan is an essential first step for providing you with financial protection. It helps, however, to have a discussion about those financial decisions as well. You should help your loved ones gather any financial documentation and go over all accounts, debts, and any other information that may be helpful when sorting out their finances when they are not able to. The will should contain much of the same information for any password or login information that is available, to help with paying bills and making account changes. You can also talk about any life insurance policies, in case you need to tap into benefits to cover care costs or other expenses.

4 Things You Need to Plan When Dealing With a Terminal Diagnosis

Plan Ahead for Their Memorial

Being able to talk to your loved ones about death is an important part of providing care and support for them, or helping them provide care for you. As part of this conversation, it can be beneficial to go ahead and plan out the funeral ahead of time. Pre-planning a funeral allows the individual to take more control over the way they are honored and remembered. It also takes a lot of pressure off loved ones by preventing them from having to make these difficult decisions while also dealing with their grief. Choose a time when everyone is calm to have the conversation, but don’t think you need to plan everything at once. Be patient as you work through final wishes, and use a pre-planning checklist to keep everyone on track.

There’s no easy way to deal with a terminal illness when it affects you or a loved one. But there are some ways to make matters somewhat easier by ironing out arrangements ahead of time. Doing so can provide some much-needed peace of mind as everyone faces the journey ahead, and can help you focus on what’s important: cherishing your time together.

4 Things You Need to Plan When Dealing With a Terminal Diagnosis