End of Life

7 Estate Planning Tips for Older Adults in San Francisco

There’s a well-known phrase, attributed to Ben Franklin (but in reality a little older), which is that the only certain things in life are death and taxes. It’s not a fun phrase, but there’s a certain shoulder-shrugging wryness to it because there are some things in life one has to accept.

Talking to Your Aging Parents About Wills and Estate Planning

“So, mom and dad, thanks for having me over for dinner. I wanted to talk to you about a few things. To start things off, I want you to think about how you’re going to die someday, probably not long from now. And with that out of the way, let’s talk about money.”

Talking To Your Children About Your Estate Planning and Wills

My father, with his well-earned wisdom, would often talk to me about his estate planning. “My son,” he would say, “I don’t plan to have any estate.”  That was his basic philosophy when it came to life. He and my mom would help us out while they were alive, but he intended to enjoy the money he made.

How to Make a Living Will and Advance Directive With Your Aging Loved One

Mary was devastated. Her mother-in-law Sara had been in a serious car accident and had barely survived the crash. Sara hadn’t regained consciousness after the crash, and because she didn’t have an advance directive or living will, she was kept alive on a ventilator for months. Each day when she went to the hospital to see Sara, Mary wondered if this kind of care is what Sara would have wanted.  

End of Life Care Issues and Challenges for Caregivers: Support Aging Loved Ones in Life and Death

There’s a Buddhist saying that suggests: pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional. Every single one of us on this road of life will experience pain. We experience physical pain, emotional pain, and perhaps even spiritual pain—and our pain is a natural and generous teacher of life’s ups and downs. But we spend a lot more energy resisting it than we do allowing for the experiences and the discoveries within it. Our resistance and avoidance are what lead to suffering as we become cut off from our real experience of life, the light and the dark.

What Is Hospice Care at Home? The Benefits of In-Home End-of-Life Care

The day before my dad died, everyone in the family went to see him. It was a coincidence, more or less. His health had been up and down, and home hospice had been set up for him. The weather the next week was supposed to be miserable, record-breaking rain in San Francisco, so everyone wandered over to the house that day to say, “hi,” and spend some time before the storms hit.

Mourning on Social Media: Living Far Away from Family After a Tragedy

To be able to see someone’s face from across the world is still truly remarkable, and nowhere is this more true than in a state of mourning. It wasn’t very long ago that the idea of video calls in a time of grief was impossible. I think back to when my dad was in the Navy in the early 50s, stationed in Okinawa. One day, he got a letter from home informing him that his oldest sister had died suddenly. She had a heart condition, and because of that she never wed. She was in her early 40s, and had moved past the years of her silent sadness to become a pillar of strength for her family, raising nieces and nephews—and her youngest, rowdiest brother—like her own. But then, her heart quit on her.