What do I need to ask her?(4 Posts)
Hi - a close friend is terminally ill and probably only has a few weeks or months left with us. She has asked me to make decisions on her behalf if she becomes unable to and we’re trying to be very practical and think about some of the possibilities up front so that I know her wishes.
So far we’ve talked about what her preferences are around care at home vs hospice, who she’d like me to call at the very end, and her wishes on resuscitation.
What else should I be asking? This is so, so tough.
If not in place I would be encouraging her to make a will.
Is there anyone she wants to visit her either now or nearer the end? Equally as important anyone she doesn’t want.
Is she religious? If so would she like to be visited by any religious leader?
Does she have any funeral preferences?
So sorry to hear this. We were in this situation with my brother in law a few years ago and it's so hard.
Burial vs cremation is a really important one, as well as any preferences on the type of funeral. So if they have a particular church or crem in mind, any guidance on music, religious vs non religious service, if they want flowers or if it'll be donations to charity whether there's any preference on which charity. Also where they would like to be laid to rest.
It would also be useful to find out if they have a will, and if so where it is. If it's with a solicitor then you'll need to get their name. If they've got any specific personal items they want to go to certain people is good to know too as it's not always covered in the will.
Hope this helps a little. It's such a hard time but your friend must think the world of you to have trusted you with their final wishes so that's really special.
The Lasting Power of Attorney guidance has lists of things within both financial information and health care which may help you. She may also want to consider an LPA depending on what her prognosis is.
Have a look here:
and here (individual guides linked at the bottom)
Financial decisions might be about:
opening, closing and using your bank and building society accounts
claiming, receiving and using your benefits, pensions and allowances
paying your household, care and other bills
making or selling investments
buying or selling your home
You don’t have to own your own home or have a lot of money to
make an LPA for financial decisions. For example, if it’s hard to manage your bank account or bills alone, you may want someone to help.
Health and care decisions might be about:
giving or refusing consent to health care
staying in your own home and getting help and support from social services
moving into residential care and finding a good care home
day-to-day matters such as your diet, dress or daily routine
To this I would also add as others have said:
Who do they want with them as they are actually dying/becoming more frail - this may not apply but in some cases patients will in effect go into a coma/ spend more and more time sleeping. Some people prefer to be alone others want only very close family, others want friends and so on. It's good to get a direction as to their feelings about this now and especially people they really don't want there.
Making a will
Directions as to who should get specific items (Aunt Adelaide to have my jewellery; Uncle Tom to get my books).
Listing in one place all their investments/bank accounts/ financial matters (it's common for small investment funds to be unclaimed because beneficiaries never knew they existed)
Funeral plans/preferences Burial or cremation, who do they want invited, donations to a paricular charity in lieu of flowers or flowers, sombre or celebration, and so on.
Online/Social media - do they want any online presence (Email, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram etc) deleted or memorialised. Do they want to give you passwords to these accounts so you can access them (especially for email) or delete/close them down after their death?
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