There are millions of parenting books, advice columns, and tv programs about parenting. We can all agree that parents should provide a safe, loving environment for their children, but also be a good role model. However, over the years, it seems that the laundry list of parenting tasks has gotten longer and longer. As parents, we are counselors, chauffeurs, bakers, bedtime storytellers, first aid medics, maids, and homework checkers. However, if 2020 taught us something it was parenting can get harder. Yes, our lifelines of teachers, coaches, and more disappeared. We became the teachers, technology support, athletic directors, coaches, and music instructors too.
Regardless of how our roles have expanded over the years and the myriad of advice that everyone gives you about parenting, let me share with you something that is essential that you do for your children. It isn’t a pleasant thing to discuss but as we have seen in the last several months death and accidents happen. They are devastating. Leaving loved ones emotionally destroyed. As a parent, you can make the transition easier by doing these three things.
Prepare an Advanced Directive or Living Will
As we have seen with Covid-19, illness can strike at any age and without warning. That is why an advanced directive or living will is crucial for all adults, whether you are a parent or not. An advanced directive or living will are legal documents that explain the instructions about how you want your healthcare decision made if you are unable to make them. In doing so, you may want to select one of your children or someone else you trust to give Power of Attorney. This person would be responsible for making important decisions regarding your healthcare treatment on your behalf. It is never too early to write your living will.
Write Your Last Will and Testament
Many people confuse a living will with your last will. Although both are important when we are talking about end-of-life situations, they are distant. As mentioned above, a living will is for explaining your medical care that you want or don’t want in the case of a serious illness, accident, or other. Whereas, a last will and testament is a legal document that allows you to control what happens to your estate (ex. home, cars, bank accounts, investments, other). In your last will and testament you would outline your assets and beneficiaries. You should also name an executor, the person that carries out your last will and testament. Although you may not want to add this to your to-dos, it is so much easier to do this in preparation than later. Do yourself and your children a favor. Get your last will done!
Plan Your Ceremony
When a death occurs, whether unexpected or over time, it is life-changing. Losing anyone is painful, but losing a parent is another thing. Children are sometimes lost in emotions. For some, they feel like they are next in line. At this devastating time, children of the deceased have troubles in carrying on with life as they knew it. Why burden your children and/or their families with the details of your ceremony? Plan the way you would like to be remembered. There are many choices from Bournemouth funerals as well as cremations. You can design your wishes simply and even pre-pay so everything is buttoned up. By doing this, you are comforting your children even in your transition.
Being a parent is the hardest job on the planet. Sometimes we all need a break. Once you have taken time to come up for air, schedule some time to execute the three items above. You don’t have to do it all at once. By doing a little at a time, you can accomplish all items. My advice is to seek the help of professionals. For your living and last wills, most recommend using legal professionals. You can find one locally or even online templates. For your ceremony, most prefer to hire a local funeral home. Look for reviews online as well as from your friends and family that have personal experiences. Continue being a great parent by planning ahead.