The coronavirus pandemic has been a somber reminder of how quickly and unexpectedly life can be lost. The heartache from loss can be coupled with stress as relatives are left to face end-of-life planning.
Stephanie Townsend Allala, an elder law attorney, tells us what kind of conversations we need to have with our loved ones before our inevitable exit.
Instances like the COVID-19 pandemic have made many of us aware of our mortality. It’s one thing to talk about end-of-life planning, but it’s another to actually act on it.
From a Living Will to a Power of Attorney, these are important documents that can determine how your wishes are honored when you’re alive and after you’re gone.
It’s possible these conversations are taking place at dinner tables across the U.S. while quarantining at home. What happens to the house or the car when I die? What happens to the unpaid bills? Who’s going to take care of my children? Who’s going to take care of my parents?
But Stephanie Townsend Allala says these conversations must take place under normal circumstances, not just extraordinary ones like a pandemic.
“It's hard to think about your mom or dad passing. A lot of people have difficulty even dealing with that,” said Townsend Allala. “But when you think about your life as a business, and every good business has an exit strategy, what is yours?”
Townsend Allala is with the El Paso law offices of Townsend Allala, Coulter & Kludt and also on the board of directors of the Texas Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.