4 Questions To Ask A Loved One After A Terminal Diagnosis

Thanks to Lucille from thebereaved.org for this guest post!

When a loved one is sick, it can be a difficult path for family, friends, and caregivers. The journey becomes even heavier in the event of a terminal diagnosis, and you should take time to process this.

When you and your loved one feel ready, however, now is also the time to have some hard but essential conversations. Planning now can relieve stress in the future. Here are some questions for which you will want to have answers.

What will happen to your loved one’s home?

If your loved one owns a home, you will need to discuss what they want done with it after they are gone. Like every other conversation in this guide, this is a tough one to have, but you can lessen the tension by choosing the right time and knowing how to talk with your loved one.

One thing to keep in mind is that if you will be helping to sell a home, some states may require a death disclosure to prospective buyers. This is especially important if your loved one would like to pursue palliative care within their home so they can feel more comfortable at the end.

What are their wishes around palliative care?

Not sure about your loved one’s palliative or end-of-life choices? This is another difficult conversation you will need to have. Start by researching what makes palliative care different from hospice care since most people think these forms of care are the same.

With palliative care, the goal is to keep your loved one comfortable and provide support to your family, but there may also be last attempts to cure the illness. Hospice care offers the same level of comfort and support but without further curative treatments for their illness.

What funeral arrangements need to be made?

While it is essential for caregivers to discuss last wishes with their loved ones, it’s also critical that the terminally ill individual feel comfortable and ready for the conversation. Carefully ask for permission and make sure you’re asking questions with compassion and dignity. You should also take this opportunity to open the discussion around funeral plans.

It’s a good idea to use a funeral planning checklist to keep everyone on track. There are so many small details that many people do not think about, so planning and writing down your loved one’s choices will reduce a lot of stress and worry for your family when the time comes.

Are there any legal documents to be completed?

You can also find helpful checklists to aid you and your loved ones in determining which legal documents need to be signed and kept on hand. Without many of these documents, you may not be able to ensure your loved one’s last wishes are carried out after their passing.

Most people will need a will, health directives, and various types of power of attorney to ensure their affairs are in good order. Your loved one may need additional forms and paperwork, so it’s recommended that you all meet with a knowledgeable attorney from Althaus Law to discuss documents and specifics.

Coming to terms with a loved one’s terminal illness is never easy, and it can be hard to ask the questions listed above. Approach your loved one with kindness and compassion, but do your best to have these difficult discussions now because trying to put the pieces together when you’re also grieving will be even harder for you and your family.

Protect your family’s assets by working with estate planning and probate attorneys from Althaus Law. Complete this form to schedule a consultation.