End-Of-Life Planning: Dealing with Difficult Family Dynamics

Even the most cohesive family units can have a difficult time making decisions and working together in an end-of-life (EOL) phase. When we fear the loss of a loved one, we experience a great deal of emotional stress. In many situations, there may also be financial stress or physical stress brought on from caring for a terminally ill relative or friend. 

We all handle stress and loss differently. Dealing with these complicated and unique dynamics can be incredibly difficult for a family. These are a few of the ways you can lessen the stress of end-of-life on your family. 

Start the Conversation

The hardest part of end-of-life planning is having “the talk” with your relatives and loved ones. This is a touchy subject, and everyone will respond differently. The trick to a successful end-of-life talk with family and friends is clear and compassionate communication. 

Ask for help. Use phrases such as, “I could use your help with something,” or, “Can you help me plan for the future for everyone?” These openers help involve everyone in the discussion and stress how developing an end-of-life plan is important to you.

Use clear communication. When we struggle to discuss a subject, we often dance around the real topic to avoid discomfort. Don’t do this. Lead with compassion and understanding, but don’t confuse people by being unclear to make “the talk” easier — it will only make things harder later. 

Develop a Plan

The key to dealing with complicated family dynamics is to have a clear plan for everyone to follow. 

The talking and communicating phase was to make sure everyone had a chance to contribute to the plan and feel good about it. This way, everyone will be more willing to follow your wishes regarding end-of-life care (EoLC). 

Your plan will outline your wishes in specific medical situations. These directives are important for situations where you may be unable to make medical decisions on your own. Make sure you have the documents available to your family members and those in charge or acting on your behalf. Check-Out Plan allows you to upload these documents so they’re easily accessible for reference should they be needed. 

Other crucial parts of your plan you need to remember are who will care for pets and your desire for your celebration of life and burial method. All these steps are crucial in a well-thought-out EOL plan. 

Ask a Professional for Help

If you’re unsure of any aspect of your EOL plan, speak with a professional or use a planning service. Planning for the future means we have to plan for many what-if scenarios. It can be hard to consider all of these on your own. 

Estate Lawyers are experienced professionals that can help you set up and finalize all the necessary parts of your estate plan, such as your will. Check-Out Plan is a valuable tool that enables you to organize and facilitate the planning process. However, it cannot act as an estate lawyer to legitimize documents. Both services can help you develop a good EOL plan. 

A robust end-of-life plan will outline your EoLC in specific medical situations and describe who gets what when it comes to your assets and possessions. With complicated family dynamics, these are the two areas where fights and tensions can begin. 

No one wants to be responsible for guessing what your wishes might be in terminal medical situations. Similarly, no one wants to fight over your property — and you certainly don’t want all this fighting to be your legacy. If you’re struggling with starting the discussion or setting up a clear end-of-life plan, Check-Out Plan can help. Our easy-to-use website allows you to Take Stock of your property, plan for specific situations, save “Just-in-Case letters,” and involve your friends and family in the planning process. Get started today with a free trial!