Dealing with a terminal illness is never easy, but many people who receive a terminal diagnosis also find themselves worrying about how their loved ones will manage without them. This is especially true in instances where the person receiving the terminal diagnosis is the income producer with a dependent spouse or partner and minor children to care for. If you are dealing with a terminal illness and want to be proactive about making the situation less stressful for the family that will be left behind, the following ideas may be helpful.
Consider making your own final arrangements
Even when the death of a loved one is expected, most people find the process of making the final arrangements very painful and difficult. To spare your family this type of pain, consider contacting the funeral home of your choice and making your own final arrangements. In most cases, you will be also be able to prepay for the arrangements, relieving another potential point of stress for your loved ones.
Put the family finances in order
Terminal patients who are also heads of their households or major income contributors can help their loved ones avoid financial stress after their death by taking time to organize the family finances in such a way that those duties will be easy for someone else to assume when the time comes. To do this, take time to gather and document all sources of income and expenses, including stocks, bonds, insurance policies, mortgages, loans, credit card statements, tax information, and banking records. In addition, make sure that all property ownership records are also organized and available for the family to access, including vehicle titles, deeds and other paper records.
Seek out legal advice
Seeking proper legal counsel for any end of life situation is wise, but when a terminal illness is involved, doing so become imperative. Not only will the terminal patient need to have a detailed will drawn up by a competent probate attorney, they may also need to make other legal arrangements to ensure that their wishes are honored concerning any end-of-life care or decisions they prefer. By having these documents drawn up and filed by their probate attorney, the terminal patient's loved ones are spared the pain of making extremely difficult decisions that may not conform to the wishes of their dying loved one. Once these documents are drawn up, terminal patients should include copies of them with the other important records and documentation they have compiled for their family to use after their passing. Work with a firm like Wilson Deege Despotovich Riemenschneider & Rittgers to make sure that everything is done properly.