March 19, 2011 in Features

Important to make wishes known

Kathy Mitchell/Marcy Sugar

Dear Annie: I would like to thank you for the many times you’ve reminded readers to take care of important medical, financial and end-of-life decisions. I did that years ago and have a legal will and power of attorney. Over the years, I also gently requested that my parents do the same, but they chose to ignore me.

Although it is too late to help our family, please continue to tell everyone how important it is to make their requests and wishes known and put into writing. Everyone should ask themselves if the following information has been given to someone they trust to carry out their wishes and requests:

The names of their doctor, lawyer and whoever they have appointed to make decisions for them should they become unable to do so.

Whether they have a legal will and Health Care Power of Attorney and where they are located. (Be aware that banks require a signature on file and a key in order to search for a will in a lock box.)

Whether they are responsible for any other family members and, if so, what provisions they have made so that person will receive care if needed.

Whether they have life insurance.

Whether they have cemetery plots and any special requests for the type of service they would like to have.

Even an independent and private person should not have a problem making sure this information is available to the person they want in charge in an emergency. It’s not about giving up control of your assets. It’s about enabling your loved ones to do the right thing when the time comes. – Been There, Done That the Hard Way

Dear Been There: Every person should bring this column to the next family meeting. These are difficult conversations to have, but they are necessary.

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