Who should I talk to?

You may notice that the people you know can be loosely grouped:

Professionals – most likely solicitors and doctors

These conversations tend to relate to information you need from them, what you want to tell them or instructions that you want them to act on.  They are often lead or guided by the professional and so can be less emotionally charged than other conversations.

Appointees - executors, guardians, or attorneys

In this situation when you approach friends or family that you want to act for you in an official way it is useful to be clear about what you are asking for, and to give them time to think about their response.  Having a back-up plan if your first choice refuses can also make the conversation easier and allow them to feel they have a genuine choice over whether to accept or decline.  Once an agreement has been made, there will be information you need to share so that the other can respond as and when the time arises.

Those whom you hold close and would wish to be around towards the end of your life 

These people may or may not have an “official” appointed role as above.  The more these people know of your wishes, the more they can help to ensure they are met e.g. whether to take you to hospital.  These can be emotional conversations and rewarding for the other to understand their significance to you.

Those whom hold you close and you might not wish to be so involved  

These people may have expectations that need to be addresses, for example, you might choose to live closer to one of your children than the others.  If you can state your preference clearly, the potential for upset and misunderstandings later is much reduced.  If these conversations are handled well, these people know they are valued, know who and why others are more involved and will be more inclined to support your wishes when the time comes.

Additional information