A recent article in Money reminds us that the holidays make for a great opportunity to start a simple, direct conversation. The article, entitled "Draft Brett Favre to Talk About End-of-Life Plans," says that recent research shows that talking down to seniors actually might contribute to cognitive decline. It's labeled "elderspeak." Don't do it: the elderly aren't babies.
One idea to broach the subject is through football. For example, on Thanksgiving at the Packers-Bears game at Lambeau Field, Favre's now-retired #4 Packers jersey was officially unveiled. That type of event can generate conversation. Packer fans still recall how Favre's dad died unexpectedly the day before one of the greatest games of his career.
Maybe that can be used as your opener: "Did Irvin Favre have a will? Did Brett or someone else know where it was?"
The article says that the answers to those questions must be yes. Brett couldn't have thrown for 399 yards and four touchdown passes the day after his dad's death while thinking, ‘Where's the will?'
Whether or not you're a Packers fan, you should have information about several important things. Ask your parents if they have a health care power of attorney, a will, a financial power of attorney (or a durable power of attorney), and an advanced health care directive (or a living will). In addition, make sure these important documents are all in one place where you can find them in an emergency.
Remember, the objective of "the talk" is to open the subject for discussion, to see whether your loved one has given this adequate thought, to save headaches if you need the documents in a hurry and to enable you to carry out your loved one's wishes.
Reference: Money (November 25, 2015) "Draft Brett Favre to Talk About End-of-Life Plans"