Preparing for the death of a parent

Imagining life without your parents is tough, but as they grow older, losing your mom and dad becomes a hard fact you have to face

Darren Cohen
Darren Cohen
27 September 2019 | 3 minute read

Preparing for the end means having sometimes tough, but honest conversations. Avoiding talking to your siblings and parents about this is natural, but being unprepared when the day comes would make the situation harder. You need to prepare your family emotionally and financially. This will empower your parents to make their desires known.

The benefits of being prepared

Planning ahead for the death of parent will help save you and other family members added stress during an already trying time. Some of the benefits of being prepared for the death of a parent include:

  • Enable your parent to take an active role in what happens to them in old age and at death
  • You will know what they want their legacy to be, how they want their estate handled and what should happen with any special family heirlooms.
  • You and your family will have comfort of knowing you will be fulfilling your parent’s wishes
  • You will know that important documents stored in a safe place before you need them
  • You will be able to avoid difficulties over financial and healthcare decisions
Preparing for your parents passing
Being emotionally prepared

Old age often brings illness, and it’s natural steer car of thinking about your parents suffering. In fact seeing them grow old and unable to care for themselves may be hardest part of all.

  • Before it’s too late, sort out any unresolved issues between the both of you. Tell them you love them; apologise for anything you need to and forgive the things you may be holding onto while you have the chance.
  • Take time remember the good times and talk about how much they meant to you.
  • You may want to document of your parent’s life, stories, recipes, and favourite sayings. These can be recorded in a book easily recorded on a smart phone. This will be something for you to look back on when they are gone, and even share with your children who may be to young now to build up meaningful memories of their grandparents.
  • Find support. If you are struggling with pre-emptive grief, speak with a grief counsellor.
Being financially prepared

Ensuring your parents estate is in order will save you and your family undue stress. Let them share their healthcare and financial wishes, and where necessary ensure that these are documented in a A last will and testament. Then ensure you or someone trusted by the family is appointed to take decisions. Important things to prepare include:

Keep these documents in a safe place.

Disease at the end of life

Speak to your medical practitioner to better understand any diseases your parents are suffering from. Take time to understand the symptoms of these so that you are prepared to help them cope in as comfortable a manner as possible.

If you parent is in a retirement home, investigate the frail care services that may be offered should your they need acute medical care.

If you are finding it difficult to provide the care your parent needs in their final days, you may want to consider hospice care. A hospice is or people facing a life-limiting illness. It addresses a patient’s physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs, and also helps support those who love them.

Find out more about a funeral policy for your parents

Remember, your companion to ensuring dignity in death is Legal&Tax Services. Contact our experts for advice on our funeral plans that bring peace of mind to loved ones left behind.

We also recently introduced a service for our funeral policy clients that also hold a Legal Prestige + plan - We will assist with the drafting the documents to lodge the deceased estate with the court

  • For estates valued at less than R250 000 we will assist with the preparation of the documentation required for you to lodge in the Magistrates Court. This service is capped at a value of R2 000.
  • For estates with a value of more than R250 000 we will assist with the preparation of the documentation required, as well as attend to the matter with the master of the High Court. This service is capped at a value of R4 000.

Need more information or assistance?

Legal&Tax is your lifelong companion. Call us on 0860 587 587 or SMS "Life" to 31690


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