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Discussing death is never easy, but having a conversation about final wishes is an opportunity for families to come together with love and understanding. Here is some guidance on how to go about it and what can be done to ease the pain of loss.

Starting the conversation

This is best done when people are in good health. Stating preferences for legal and financial decisions as well as medical treatment at the end of life are important steps in planning.

Discussing desires for the final days

Caregivers should understand the difference between hospice and palliative care, so they can discuss this with their loved one.

Preparing legal documents

Completing basic legal documents ensures an individual’s wishes are legally stated and that the person they choose is ultimately able to carry them out. In addition to an advance directive and a power of attorney, there are other end-of-life legal documents that may need to be put in place.

Funeral planning

If a funeral home, cemetery plot or other arrangements are in place, caregivers can easily honor a loved one’s wishes — as long as they know about them.

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