How to talk about estate planning during cancer.

How can you talk about estate planning, or making a plan for death when the stress is high and emotions are swirling?  

Well, the truth is, EVERYONE is already thinking about death.  The word cancer in itself automatically has people jumping straight to the worst possible outcome.

Which is pretty crazy.  Because cancer treatments and outcomes have come a long, long way.  Some cancers have a 99% success rate when caught early.  Treatments are prolonging life and QUALITY OF LIFE longer than ever before… Cancer care is getting better every day.  

There is HOPE now, lots of hope, where there wasn’t before.

Heads Up:  If you have no idea how to deal with all this cancer business, we can help you formulate a plan to tackle the immediate issues… finding the best care, talking with your insurance company, finding resources that will actually help, and dealing with the fear, anxiety and overwhelm of this whole situation.

You can get the Cancer Combat Plan FREE here…

We can’t control the cancer, but we CAN show you how to manage this crisis.   And it’s 100% Free.

The word cancer, however, strikes a fear in your heart, straight down to your core.  Cancer is some seriously scary shit.  And once it’s been identified, you still have that super fun waiting period (in my most sarcastic voice) where they run test after test to establish what stage you’re at, has it spread, the best treatment course, ect…

 So it kind of makes sense why your brain would naturally jump to the worst case scenario.  People want to be prepared.  For whatever’s coming.  They don’t want to be blind-sided or caught off guard.   

I have a family member, who spent my dad’s entire cancer battle, preparing for the worst.  Even when we were at our best, fighting like warriors, she struggled with the idea that this might work out.  It drove me insane sometimes, because we had some truly amazing moments during our journey, and having faith was easy for me.  

How to Talk About Estate Planning

So how do you talk about estate planning, end of life, and planning ahead when emotions are reeling from a cancer diagnosis?

The truth is, like you, they’re thinking about this too.  They don’t want this to be difficult, they want that stuff to be easy because they know you’ll have a lot to deal with when the time comes already.

I have a friend who passed away, and 8 months later her family members were still trying to get everything situated.  

When I say stressed, they were beyond overwhelmed and it cost them a tremendous amount of time and money to get everything settled because nothing was done.  

No will, no directives, nothing.  She didn’t know that her daughters were going to be at the breaking point, broke and stressed and trying to figure this stuff out or she would have handled everything differently.  

Start With Practical

Truth #1: We are all going to die. That’s a fact of life. No one is going to live forever. Every single one of us is going to die.  I could walk out of the house and get hit by a bus tomorrow.  Cancer just drives that point home like a punch in the face.  Every single adult should have an end of life plan. 

If we have learned ANYTHING from this experience it’s the harsh reality that tomorrow is not promised to ANYONE.

Truth #2:  When the unthinkable happens, you want it to be as easy as possible for your loved ones.  You don’t want to add extra stress and anxiety.  You don’t want them to be fighting in court, or shelling out thousands of dollars to resolve your estate.  

How can you start planning ahead to make things easier for the people you love?

Truth #3: This isn’t just for people who have been diagnosed with cancer.  Cancer patients, family members, caregivers… 

EVERY ADULT should have a plan mapped out indicating what needs to be handled if the inevitable happens.

Truth#4: The sheer magnitude of a cancer diagnosis makes you feel and see everything differently.  Suddenly you don’t feel like you have endless time on this earth to do everything.  You stop putting things off.  You appreciate and notice the good things in your life differently.  

Stop wasting time on the things that don’t matter, and start realizing what really does matter.

Start the Conversation About Planning Ahead

Making a plan for your eventual death is simply a way to make it easier for the grieving people you’re leaving behind who will someday have to deal with it. 

  • Who is going to handle what?
  • What paperwork will need to be dealt with? (Things like retirement?  SSI?)
  • When/how do taxes get paid?
  • When/how does the mortgage get paid?
  • Who owns the property?

Questions like these can be incredibly stressful after the fact, especially if no one has authorized you to access certain information.  A quick plan in advance will save your loved ones an incredible amount of stress and anxiety during the worst time of their life.

Offer To Help

Smiling father looking at daughter who has her hand on his shoulder.

Note: I would only do this if you’re extremely close to the person making the estate plan.  Much of the information included here is sensitive and private.  

For some people, this becomes their mission.  Getting everything in order becomes like an obsession.  It makes sense if you think about it, it gives them something concrete and productive to focus on while they’re playing the never ending waiting game

However, for others Estate Planning may feel like a completely overwhelming endeavor, especially if nothing has been done, yet. Hint: they’re already struggling with an overwhelming endeavor figuring out how to deal with the cancer.

In that case, they may need some help.  You can start by assembling the Estate Planning Forms they’ll need,  we walk you through that here… And then encourage them or help them to make a list of all of their assets, accounts and property.  

Honestly, that’s the hardest, most overwhelming part.  Once that’s done, everything can be listed out with their wishes. 

If you’re doing this with a lawyer, it’s even easier, an hour conversation and a few signatures and you’re ready to roll.  

If you need more information on what to consider during estate planning, you can find that here…

P.S.  If you’re drowning in all this cancer business, and you have no idea where to start…  The Cancer Combat Plan is a step-by-step guide from someone who has struggled through this and found ways to manage the chaos, the stress, and the overwhelm.   

Things feel better, and more in control when you have a plan.  So if you’re looking for action steps, resources, and strategies that will help you manage this crisis, we’ve got you covered. And it’s totally free… 

You can get the Cancer Combat Plan for free here…

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