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In Anchorage and in Our State, Folks are Making End of Life Plans

Make-a-plan-wideAt Pretty Thrifty, an Eagle River consignment shop, owner Christy Carter helps client Bonny Stark unpack a set of hand-painted china. Stark has had it for years and is bringing it in to consign it as she prepares for retirement. "I'm not going to take it to Mexico," she said.

Many of Ms. Carter's customers—and folks all over the country—are starting to think about downsizing for retirement. Ms. Carter said in a KTUU.com article, “End of life planning a 'gift for family,' experts say,”that she also receives a lot of merchandise from families who are cleaning up the estate of a loved one who has recently passed away. Most of the furniture she sells are from estates.

Many who have already lost a loved one don't want to deal with all of the details because they're going through their grief process emotionally. However, end of life planning is what the clinical director of an Anchorage area hospice recommends. Having advanced directives or a living will, and a power of attorney in place is a gift to family, she said.

The article explains that ultimately it’s the family that must make those decisions. However, many family members have complicated grief afterwards because they're trying to honor their loved one and don’t know exactly what they should do. This can be very distressing.

The hospice director in the article recommends what’s called “the five wishes" model. The Five Wishes lets your family and doctors know:

  • Those you want to make health care decisions for you when you are unable to;
  • The kind of medical treatment you do or don’t want;
  • The type of comforts you want;
  • How you want people to treat you; and
  • What you want your loved ones to know.

The article explains that a five wishes document not only addresses medical wishes, but also can detail emotional, personal, and spiritual wishes.

Talk with an elder law attorney for long-term care planning and estate planning. It’s smart to plan for death at any stage in life.

For more information about estate planning, please visit my estate planning website.

Reference: KTUU.com (May 13, 2015) “End of life planning a 'gift for family,' experts say”

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