Making significant decisions regarding end-of-life care and estate preparation during one's final days or weeks is a practice known as "deathbed planning" that is widespread. Deathbed preparation may seem like a proactive way to prepare financially for death, but it can actually cause more stress and anguish for the dying person and their loved ones.
One of the main reasons why deathbed planning can cause additional grief is because it often involves rushed decision-making. As someone is towards the end of their life, they could feel under pressure to decide on major issues quickly without carefully weighing all of their options or consulting with reliable advisors. This may result in choices that go against the person's wishes or ideals, which can be particularly difficult for surviving family members to accept.
In addition to causing emotional distress for the dying individual, deathbed planning can also create tension and conflict among family members. Important decisions shouldn't be made in a hurry or without involvement from all parties; doing so can result in conflicts and resentment. Family members may feel remorse or guilt for not being able to reach an agreement, making it even harder to settle these disputes after the individual passes away.
Another potential consequence of deathbed planning is that it may not allow for the dying individual to fully express their wishes and desires. The individual might not have the chance to express their views in a way that is complete and clear when judgments are made fast and under pressure. When the individual has died away, this may cause confusion and ambiguity among surviving family members and potentially give rise to legal issues regarding the person's estate or end-of-life care.
Potential sources of added grief in deathbed planning is the sense of missed opportunities. It's only normal to desire to finish up any unfinished business and settle any outstanding disputes or concerns when someone is nearing the end of their life. But given the pressure of a tight schedule and emotional exhaustion, this can be challenging to accomplish. Family members may regret not having more time to say goodbye or to express their feelings. They may feel guilty about past disagreements or missed chances to connect. These feelings can linger long after the person has passed, adding to the overall grief and emotional burden.
Deathbed preparation can also make family members feel guilty and regretful because they believe they could have done more to help their loved one get ready to pass away. They may feel like they could have prevented some of the stress and chaos if they had encouraged their loved one to plan earlier.
So what can be done to avoid the potential pitfalls of deathbed planning? One option is to engage in advance care planning and estate planning well before the end of life. People can make sure that their wishes are conveyed clearly and that their loved ones are aware of their desires by making decisions and drafting documentation in advance. This can lessen some of the emotional strain that comes with facing death and can also assist to avoid arguments and misunderstandings within the family.
Another choice is to ask experts like lawyers, financial advisors, and healthcare specialists for advice. Making crucial decisions about end-of-life care and estate preparation might benefit greatly from the counsel and assistance of these professionals. Also, they can assist in making sure that all legal requirements are satisfied and that the person's desires are clearly expressed in writing.
Deathbed planning can be a difficult and emotionally taxing experience for both the dying individual and their loved ones. Individuals can ensure that their desires are well conveyed and that their loved ones are ready for the possibilities of death by engaging in advance care planning and estate planning well before the end of life. This can bring everyone involved some peace of mind and assist to lessen some of the stress and anguish connected with making plans for one's deathbed.