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As a law firm that is dedicated to serving and providing support to the elderly, it always brings us great pleasure and encouragement to read about octogenarians who are truly living life to its fullest.

This week David Tuller of the New York Times brought us an inspirational story about his 80-year-old mother, whose activist roots keep her active and passionate about life. Click here to read the article in its entirety.

In the piece, Tuller discusses the good-natured conversations he has with his mother regarding her inevitable death. The two ponder whether she will die suddenly in her sleep, or over the course of a week, or over a period of months. Tuller’s mom finds humor in the conversation, and discusses the benefits of dying quickly versus having longer to say goodbye. However, in our experience, conversations regarding the end of one’s life are rarely this light-hearted.

For most, death and the aging process are difficult topics to breach. Having an open line of communication about the end of life, however, to address one’s desires and wishes regarding care and to do the proper planning, is imperative to maintaining a good quality of life in one’s old age. Without planning, individuals can potentially be left powerless to maintain their quality of life, and can rapidly deplete all of their assets paying for long-term care. Executing important documents such as a durable power of attorney and a health care proxy allow individuals to designate trusted agents to carry out their wishes regarding financial issues and important health care decisions.

We all have much to learn from Mrs. Tuller. And as we continue to age, it is important to address some of these difficult issues in order to ensure that we can live our lives to the fullest, right up until the end.

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