Helping Your Parents Leave a Legacy of Love

Talking to your aging parents about their final wishes can be challenging, but the effort will always pay off in the end.

Multi-generational family

Talking about death and dying can be a very difficult subject for anyone, especially close family members. However, addressing final arrangements with your parents before they reach complications that may arise from illness or advanced age is essential.

Every year, siblings and other family members are faced with the challenging and sometimes dividing questions of exactly how their parents may have wanted to be remembered. One sibling may remember a parent expressing one preference, favorite flower, color or other detail, while another sibling may remember something completely different. Adding disunity to heartbreak can hurt tender emotions and spoil final memories of a parent during a time intended for peace and healing.

Many parents ignore preplanning simply because do not realize that planning a funeral can require more than 150 decisions and pieces of information for plans to move forward.

Issues of finances arise as well. Even if your loved ones have life insurance or savings accounts, most funds cannot be accessed until after funeral arrangements are made and paid for. Without a map to help, grieving children are left with hard-to-make choices, and often become prone to emotional spending.

You have already taken the first and best step when preparing to talk to you parents about prearrangement: making yourself familiar with the process. Once you know about preplanning, consider making plans for yourself. While you may not feel like an expert, going through the entire process can help immensely when you address it with your parents. You can download our How To Guide to get started. Bring these plans with you as you talk with your parents.

Carefully choose a time and place where your parents will be relaxed and where there will be limited distractions. Approach the topic with love and care.

Share your feelings about your preplanning experience. Express any initial apprehension. Explain the peace that came as you knew your plans were made and that you had provided a loving service to your family.

One of the most important things to remember when talking to your parents is to be patient. It may take more than one occasion before they are willing to discuss the topic. Understandably, talking about their final wishes may be very difficult. Whatever you do, take care to avoid strong emotions such as anger, frustration or resentment if your parents are not immediately open to the discussion.

As they become open to the idea, offer your help. Having just gone through the experience, you can tell them what to expect. Help them to know that you hope their plans will not be needed for a long time, but that when they are needed, they will be there to help guide you and your loved ones through the difficult hours and days following their passing.

Consider offering them copies of the How To Guide or show them various articles and videos available here on Remember, while the topic of preplanning may not be comfortable at first, it will always provide peace now and in the future as you and your parents can rest assured they have left you with a clear plan and a legacy of love.

Get Started Preplanning Now

Don’t delay. Take the first step to providing peace of mind to you and your family. Prevent over-spending and give your loved ones the opportunity to remember you how you want to be remembered. Download our free How To Guide to learn more.


  • Why Prearrange?

    You’ve always strived to do things the right way in your life. Your good judgment, determination, organization, and passion have helped you find success in both your professional and personal life. You’ve worked hard to build supportive, loving relationships with your family and friends. Now you’re thinking about prearranging your funeral because you want to do what’s best for your loved ones and for yourself.

  • Preplanning For Your Family and For Yourself

    When it comes to life after retirement, Joe and Dena Nelson are living the American Dream. The former college sweethearts have been going strong, having fun together for 50 years and don’t have any intentions of slowing down.