Most parents dread the thought their children might become ill and pass away before they do. No matter how old the child is when it happens, it is painful for parents to lose their children. However, the reverse seems normal.
That parents will pass away before their children seems like the natural order of things. Because it seems so normal, it is not often discussed how painful this can be for the children, even adult children. Parents do not talk to their children about what they want to happen when they are ill or deceased. However, things would go a lot better if they did, as Forbes discusses in "Talking To Your Kids About Your Dying Wishes."
You can make things a lot easier for your children by letting them know a few things. Talk to your kids about what you want to happen if you are ever terminally ill and on life support. Children need to know whether you would like to stay on life support or not. Tell your children about what your funeral wishes are and if you have made any arrangements. It is also a good idea to talk to your children about what is supposed to happen to your property, after you pass away.
The more your children know what to expect, the less likely they are to fight between themselves. The conversation with your children does not need to be long or contentious. It is not a difficult conversation to have at all. They just need to have an idea about what you want to happen, so they are not surprised at the same time they are grieving over losing you.
Talking to your children about your wishes is important. But your wishes are not legally binding. The best thing to do is meet with an estate planning attorney and create a will or trust to ensure your wishes are carried out. Then talk to your children about the plan you’ve created.
Reference: Forbes (May 15, 2018) "Talking To Your Kids About Your Dying Wishes."