Do Your Kids Know Your Plans? Talk to Them

Most families never talk about what one’s wishes may be when they become incapacitated or when they die. After all, no one likes to talk about their own mortality, especially with their children, even if they are adults themselves. However, an open dialogue would be the best thing for everyone. It will save your children from making painful decisions during an emotionally charged time and help to avoid conflict or distress.

By discussing your wishes with caregivers, healthcare providers and family, and completing important documents, you provide those around you with the instructions they need to deliver the care you want. It also provides a way for them to respect your final wishes. These important documents should always be prepared by an Elder Law / Estate Planning Attorney and include:

  • HIPAA Release
  • Health Care Proxy
  • Durable Power of Attorney
  • Advanced Care Directive / Living Will
  • Last Will and Testament

Having the documents is important but having the appropriate conversations is the crucial part. Your family, especially the person you have identified as your agent, need to know how you wish to be treated and what your limits for treatment would be. Making those decisions for you will be much easier if you have had an honest discussion with your loved ones. This is also a good time to discuss any final wishes you may have, pre-made funeral arrangements and plans for your property should you pass. Talking about your plans is a way of guiding them through a difficult time. The more they know what to expect, the less their burden becomes.

For more information or to contact us for a consultation at our New Bedford office, go to or call us at 508-994-5200.

©Surprenant & Beneski, P.C. 35 Arnold Street, New Bedford, MA 02740, 336 South Street, Hyannis MA 02601 and 45 Bristol Drive, Easton MA 02375.  This article is for illustration purposes only. This handout does not constitute legal advice. There is no attorney/client relationship created with Surprenant & Beneski, P.C. by this article. DO NOT make decisions based upon information in this handout. Every family is unique and legal advice can only be given after an individual consultation with an elder law attorney. Any decisions made without proper legal advice may cause significant legal and financial problems.