People nearing end of life often need a great deal of support yet personal connections frequently narrow as we age.
Building an end of life support team of trusted loved ones and advisors to make important decisions when you most need help ensures consistent, caring representation of your interests and provides confidantes with insights as you approach end of life.
We recommend the following steps to build your end of life support team:
1. Consider your specific needs
The support team you choose will depend on your unique circumstances. Consider your preferences and needs for your dependents, care, property, financial and/or digital assets and whether you want your extended family, social or online network to be kept informed of your circumstances if you become unable to speak for yourself.
2. Consider your preferences and resources
Carefully consider whom you trust or feel most comfortable with filling each role. Try to match the person with the roles they seem best suited for. You may find that choosing the same person to fulfill many roles works best for you.
3. Talk with advisors and loved ones
To help you choose the right person for the right responsibility, get input from your loved ones and advisors before making your final decisions.
4. Find more resources if necessary
Consider all possible resources including family members, neighbors, healthcare and hospice providers, your religious community and professional or social organizations where you have affiliations.
5. Choose your support team
Appoint one or more people you trust to care for dependents, manage your medical and financial matters if you become unable, and to carry out your final wishes for your assets and heirlooms. Remain open to new resources and alternatives if your circumstances or team changes.
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