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Talking about wills, a guide to discuss wishes with family

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Discussing end-of-life wishes with family and friends can be a difficult and uncomfortable topic to broach. However, having these conversations can ensure that your loved ones are aware of your preferences and can make informed decisions if the need arises. Here are some tips to help you start the conversation:

1. Choose the Right Time and Place.
It's important to choose the right time and place to have the conversation. Pick a time when everyone is relaxed and has enough time to discuss the topic fully. It may be helpful to have the conversation in a private setting where everyone feels comfortable.

2. Be Open and Honest.
Be open and honest with your loved ones about your end-of-life wishes. Discuss your preferences for medical care, such as life support, resuscitation, and palliative care. Be clear about what you want and do not want, and why.

3. Listen to Their Concerns.
It's important to listen to your loved ones' concerns and opinions about your end-of-life wishes. They may have different beliefs or values, and it is important to be respectful and understanding of their perspective. Encourage open communication and ask questions to clarify their concerns.

4.Seek Professional Advice.
If you're unsure about certain aspects of end-of-life care, consider seeking professional advice. Talk to your doctor or a trusted healthcare professional to get a better understanding of your options and address any concerns you may have.

5. Put Your Wishes in Writing.
Putting your end-of-life wishes in writing, such as in a living Will or advanced care directive, can ensure that your wishes are respected and followed if you're unable to communicate them. Make sure your loved ones are aware of these documents and where they are located.

6. Revisit the Conversation Regularly.
It's important to revisit the conversation regularly to make sure that your wishes are still current and to address any changes or concerns that may arise. Make it a regular part of your communication with your loved ones to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

Discussing my end-of-life plans.
It is always a good idea to discuss it with the people closest to you, however, it is especially important to discuss it with your executor. You should also consider talking to parents, children, siblings, or anyone else named as a beneficiary in your Will.

Bringing up the topic is never easy, discussing death is often an uncomfortable experience. When discussing the Will with your family members it is always good to not make it about inheritance and more about logistics. Try to focus the conversation on relieving uncertainty, making decisions about the burial, or how they would like the funeral to be conducted.

If someone seems reluctant to have the conversation, try to remind them about the reason it is important. You can always reference how not being prepared can be worse off, and relate it to emergency planning to make the anecdote easier to relate to. It is always important to remember that you can never force someone to talk about it but you can always let them in when they are ready.


In conclusion, discussing the end of life wishes with family and friends can be difficult, but it is an important conversation to have. Choose the right time and place, be open and honest, listen to their concerns, seek professional advice, put your wishes in writing, and revisit the conversation regularly. By having these conversations, you can ensure that your wishes are respected and that your loved ones are prepared to make informed decisions if the need arises.

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