Executors should discuss details with terminally ill relatives

When a family member is diagnosed with a terminal illness, one of the many things to consider is the steps to be taken after he or she passes away. For those named as executors, understanding these responsibilities is even more important. While it can be emotionally difficult to discuss these issues with a dying loved one, understanding his or her estate plans, assets and last wishes before they pass away can alleviate a lot of stress for British Columbia families.

Whether the loved one is sick or not, any executors named in a will should be immediately informed of where all important papers are kept. This includes their birth certificate, marriage and divorce certificates, pension plan information, life-insurance policies, military discharge papers, and financial documents. British Columbia executors should ensure all these papers are kept in one safe place, such as a safe deposit box. They should also be sure they have access to the keys.

Instructions on what to do if one is incapacitated as well as if one passes away are very important. Does the person want to be resuscitated should his or her heart stop? Which medical treatments is the person willing to undergo? Articulating these wishes will help family members make appropriate decisions should the time come.

Funeral plans and estate directives are not easy discussions to have with a dying loved one, but they are critical to a family's well-bring after that person passes away or falls more seriously ill. Executors should approach these conversations as soon as possible to ensure they have all the information needed. Lawyers can also help with validating and drawing up wills.

Source: richmondregistar.com, "Savvy Senior: What to do when a loved one dies", Jim Miller, Jan. 23, 2018

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