It’s never easy to hear that a loved one has a terminal illness. Even though it’s something most of us will deal with in our lifetime, we’re still shocked every time it happens, and many don’t know what to do next.

Here are three things to do when a loved one receives a terminal diagnosis:

  1. Update paperwork and finances: It may seem callous to turn to paperwork and money at this time, but getting this out of the way will free up one’s mind and time. Make sure all the bills, estate plans, property titles and accounts are in order. Getting these details out of the way will allow the family and loved ones to just enjoy the time left together without any stress hanging over their heads.
  2. Listen to the loved one: This is the time to soak in all one can from that family member. Ask everything you’ve wanted to know and more. What was their first date like? What big life lessons do they want to share? What’s their favorite kind of cookie? Take videos, photos, journal and do all you can to maximize this person’s legacy.
  3. Start preparing final arrangements: One blessing of a terminal diagnosis is that the person still has time. They are able to control their final arrangements, or at least have a say. This may sound odd, but some people want to know that they had a say in their final sendoff.

When a loved one receives a terminal diagnosis, having an estate plan in place means that one just needs to pull up some files and review them before enjoying the time left with that special person. Without a plan, many people spend those last precious days, weeks or months scrambling to settle affairs. If in the Raleigh area, let us help you be prepared.