The Comprehensive Plan

The Comprehensive Plan

By Carl A. Glad, Esq

Partner Law Offices of Kurt M. Ahlberg

Developing an estate plan can be a challenge.  Ensuring your loved ones know your wishes can be overwhelming.  There are many times when clients will ask if their Will or Living Will should include information about the nursing home they would prefer or their desired funeral arrangements.  This type of information is better conveyed to your loved ones in person or in a separate document so that they fully understand your end of life desires.

The legal documents of your estate planning are incredibly important.  They will help your family effectively deal with the legal issues that may arise.  However, there are many items that will not be included in your legal documents.  There are many aspects to consider when faced with planning for your final days.  You may or may not want to be involved in medical decisions.  You may or may not want to have treatment of certain symptoms.  You may want to meet with all of your family members or only a select few.  You may want to meet with a religious figure.  You may want specific flowers, music, or readings at your funeral.  These are the types of decisions that are not encompassed in your legal documents.  But, if these items are important to you, you should communicate your desires to your loved ones.

In our practice, we encourage clients to write down their wishes in a separate document or letter.  If you are considering this type of end of life planning but struggling to start there are a number of online resources available.  One such source is the Conversation Project.  The Conversation Project is a non-profit organization that provides materials to help you begin thinking about, planning, and ultimately communicating your desires.  Their website provides free guides to get you started in the right direction to ensure your wishes and desires are fulfilled.  You can download these documents from their website at

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Linda Ziac's picture

Carl - Thank you for your very well written sage advice. Unfortunately, as a board certified case manager I often get the calls from families in crisis with a loved one in the hospital, not knowing what to do. One of my goals is to help people become proactive in taking with their loved ones about aging, discussing and arranging for advance directives, planning for their financial future which includes estate planning, and most of all talking about potential future challenges – “the what-ifs”.