Feb. 14, 2023
Burial? Cremation? Scattered ashes? Buried beside a first wife or husband? Or, buried as far as possible from the first wife or husband?
Do you know your parents’ final wishes?
What kind of service do they want to have? How about music to be played? Any passages from a religious text or from a favourite author? And what about any quirky requests – ones that make you laugh or pause? The kind that reflects your mother or father’s character and what they would want as part of a final goodbye?
So many possible questions. Do you know the answers to any or all of these?
It is amazing how many adults do not know the final wishes of their parents, even for those who are at a very senior age.
End of life decisions are important but discussing them can be difficult. There’s a temptation to procrastinate. That can mean all of those good intentions of having a discussion may end up as just that – good intentions. We never know when the end may come.
There are many such discussions that are important to take place between seniors and their adult children. Along with planning an end of life that mom or dad would like, there are also financial matters. Things like the transfer of wealth. Who gets what? What about the cottage? Or heirloom medals? Or special pieces of jewellery?
So many families find themselves in difficult – and tense – situations because they have not had important life discussions between seniors and their adult children.
These discussions, such as those cited above, should not be delayed any further. Yes, it is likely that if you are reading this, and you have senior parents, you fall into the category of a procrastinator.
If that is the case, take this as a spark to delay no further. If you have opened the lines of communication and started, or completed, such discussions, bravo for you.
But, if not, now is the time! Delay no further. Believe me, you will not regret it. It may be a challenge to get the talks started, or find the right moment, but it will be so worth it in the end to feel informed and confident that, when the end comes, you will be prepared.
Gary Rabbior is the president of the Canadian Foundation for Economic Education
This Globe and Mail article was legally licensed by AdvisorStream.