Home Music intervention Parents: Wills and medical directives are the last best gift you can give your children.

Parents: Wills and medical directives are the last best gift you can give your children.

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If you’re anything like me, your nest has been emptied of your little birds for a while, and you’re wondering how to apply for Medicare: OK, boomer! You have done a lot of things in your life and you still have many good years ahead of you. You are involved in the lives of your children and grandchildren, and you would do anything for them. Here’s one way to show how much you really love your kids: do the paperwork.

I’m talking about the legal paperwork of a mature life: a will or a trust. A lasting power of attorney. An advanced health directive. You can go online or hire a lawyer, but you need to get these documents. Then all you have to do is let your designated executor know where you keep this important treasure. When you’re gone, your kids will thank you.

Here’s one way to show how much you really love your kids: do the paperwork.

I can be sufficient because my husband and I recently completed the above work. But I should bow my head in shame that we didn’t take care of this before. I guess we played the odds and won. But what if we both died while our children were still minors? We were negligent parents, legally speaking. We had excuses: who had the time at the time? Who had the money? We often talked about being responsible adults, but in retrospect, we weren’t.

In the expected natural order, children outlive their parents. (Please God!) We may have to take care of our parents physically in their old age, and we bury them when they die. For Catholics, organizing the funeral of a relative is a sacred task: our parents brought us into the church by baptism, and we see them on the way back to God. Having buried both my parents, I know how useful it is to know your parents’ last wishes. That is to say, I know how pointless it is not to know what they want, not to have never had the difficult but vital conversations about death and death.

In my case, my mother outlived my father, but bless her heart, she abdicated responsibility for his funeral. So my siblings and I did what we thought best. We chose the cemetery. We chose cremation. We chose the readings and music from my father’s funeral masses and later from my mother. We tried to honor our parents without really knowing if we were.

Organizing a relative’s funeral is a sacred task: our parents brought us into the church by baptism, and we see them on the way back to God.

My parents had set up a family trust, but they had nothing in the trust. We thought they had signed advance health directives, but we didn’t know where they were or how to access them. When my father was seriously ill, my sister and I were certain that he did not want extraordinary measures taken to artificially prolong his life. As we told the doctor, my mother accused us of trying to kill our father. It was not a fun day.

After my father died, I found the leather satchel with the trust papers and their advanced health guidelines. His last wishes were as we thought.

– Well, said my mother triumphantly, you see at least that I want everything to be done to save me! Don’t unplug me!

No one likes to think about their own death, but we can be sure that the event will not be prevented by our inattention.

I showed her where she needed to do some updates because the document she signed years ago stated that nothing extraordinary should be done on her behalf. Over the next seven years, my mother slowly succumbed to Parkinson’s disease, but at her own pace, with all possible medical interventions. She never changed her directive legally, but thanks to that explosion, we knew what she wanted.

When we parents put our intentions for our health care and the distribution of our wealth on paper, we can avoid any misunderstanding or plots on the part of our heirs. No one likes to think about their own death, but we can be sure that the event will not be prevented by our inattention. No one likes to think that without instructions our children will not be their best. But we’ve all heard stories. We all know the power of money to divide a family.

Once we’re gone, of course, we can’t control the narrative. The best we can do is leave a plan to follow. That is why I consider these legal documents to be a labor of love for our children.

Once we are gone, we cannot control the narrative. The best we can do is leave a plan to follow.

My aunt and uncle, God bless them, had planned everything surrounding their death, from prepaid funeral arrangements to musical requests for their funeral. My cousins ​​were able to cry, confident that they were making their parents’ wishes come true. The hymns my aunt and uncle had chosen were endearing reminders of the 70s guitar mass, which indicated to me that they had stipulated these instructions long before their deaths. But seeing the serenity on the tear-streaked faces of my cousins ​​made me realize that I owed my children the same active and helpful love that my aunt and uncle had molded for me.

Death is a taboo in our society – I’m always amazed at how many people I know who have never been to a funeral – but we need to talk about it with our loved ones. We can hide from it, disinfect it and ignore it, but our death will have to be dealt with by someone. With a little forethought, we can love our children one last time from the grave. Where there is literally a will, there is a way.