This week, when you're with your family, snuggled on the couch with full bellies, why not take a couple of minutes to ask your parents a few important questions? This is absolutely not an exhaustive list, just a couple of things to think about.
1. Where do they keep their important papers? Do they have a will, a living will, persons designated to make medical or financial decisions?
2. Do they have a plan for distributing valuable or sentimental items?
3. Where do they want to have the funeral? Burial or Cremation? Do they have cemetery plots somewhere? Do they have any specific requests for music or readings or memorial donations?
4. Is there anything else we ought to know?
I know, it's hard, but you can blame it on me, say I brought it up in the first place. Then you'll know some stuff, and in 40 or 50 years, when you need it, you'll already have the info. Just jot it down and stuff it into the "important papers" file at the back of your filing cabinet, and you won't have to think about it again for a long time.
And you'll all feel a little better when it's done.