Is there ever a good time to talk about after life arrangements?

Remember when our parents, in their frustration said, “Talking to you is like talking to a wall!?” Most of us laughed and thought nothing much of it.


My, how the tables have turned! Now, we are also parents. And, like many of my clients, we want to speak about end-of-life planning, wills, powers of attorney and other such pertinent matters.

It’s now our kids who are saying, “I don’t want to talk about such nonsense.”

Yes, this is like talking to a wall.

Sure, this must be discussed. But, we need to be sensitive with how and when we broach the conversation. I advocate taking the time to write it down, and even record, the conversation.

Give your child your version and let them hear it when they want to. They will, but they just don’t want to see your face, or your eyes, when you are explaining a time when you are no longer here.

Give them time to reflect on this, in their own quiet moment. And, believe me, they will.

This is tough stuff to digest. I’m a believer in family discussions. I grew up in a household of family discussions, but I also balked at the idea of discussing these matters with my folks.

My reality, in my mind, was that they weren’t going to die. Or, there will always been another time to talk.

And, you know what? I did not have that conversation with them.

Fortunately, my mother wrote everything down – and sent it to me. When did she get so smart! I read it, when I was ready—and asked questions, when I was ready… and it worked.

The wall came down and I heard the message.

Discussions about burial plots, insurance money and funeral seating arrangements are meant for the right time and place. It’s my suggestion to let these matters occur at the time that’s best for your child; when he/or she has the mental space.

Take my advice for what it is…It’s just, AS I SEE IT!

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Leonard Baer About Leonard Baer

Leonard Baer is an elder law and estate attorney with offices in the Highlands, NC and Wellington, FL. His specialty is the prevention of elder abuse, particularly those who are victim to fraud. Visit his website

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