Hello. I am in my mid-50's. I have a friend (of 32 years) who is in her 80s. Web both live in New Jersey. SHE HAS NO CHILDREN and her only other family is one or two elderly people who live in North Carolna. She is currently in an independent living facility in Gibbstown, NJ. She basically looks at me as her daughter. She has made arrangements and paid for her funeral and plot (next to her husband). She has placed my name as the person to help out with her end of life arrangements. The problem is, I have no idea how any of this works and would like to get info BEFORE I actually need it. Who should I reach out to for information/help? Any direction you can provide would be immensely appreciated.

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This site has some good basic information on legal documents your friend should have in place to see that her interests are looked after.

It would be good to discuss with her exactly what her views are, while she is still of sound mind. There are lots of decisions that MIGHT need to be made, and it will be easiest for you if you can think in terms of what your friend wants. For example, many people make explicit decisions about whether they would want to be fed through a tube. Fewer people think ahead about whether they would want to be manually fed by someone else, whether they are OK with a soft diet, or a thickened liquid diet, etc. Maybe, from things she has said about other situations, cases in the news, etc., you already know her attitudes. If not, it doesn't sound like she'd be squeamish about discussing such things.

She will have the right to make her own decisions as long as she is capable of expressing them. Your role would come into play if she loses that ability. It will help you a lot if you know you are making the decisions she would make for herself (even if they are not the decisions you would make for yourself.)

You might want to read up on what hospice care is, and how to arrange for it in your location.

Your friend has given you quite an honor to trust you with this role. You may not b called upon to act in that capacity for a decade or more. But it is very wise and compassionate of you to prepare ahead of need.
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