Having a Plan

I’m guessing that you don’t have a death plan. Jeez, even saying ‘death plan’ is creepy and laced with undertones of self harm. But since the end of life is an inevitability, why the heck shouldn’t we have a plan for it? I mean I have a plan for retirement, a plan for the weekend, and a plan for when I meet Hugh Jackman – none of which are guaranteed. Death is guaranteed. You should have a plan.

So what exactly is a death plan? It starts with getting all your paperwork in order. Step One is a nice fresh Advanced Directive for Health Care complete with an assigned Heath Care agent. This is the absolute minimum preparation that you can make to assure that you have any control at all in the end of your life. You need this completed, recently, and you need a copy somewhere where it can be found easily should you not be able to access it. Start with this and start a folder.

Next absolutely necessary document is a Disposition Authorization. This is a simple but necessary document if you want things to go smoothly. I’m assuming here that you have decided what you would prefer with regards to your remains. This form gives permission for cremation, burial, or composition; your folder should also contain a Designated Agent for Funeral Arrangements which gives someone permission to get your wishes enacted. All of this legal hoohah is exactly why it needs to be done in advance. Otherwise you’re leaving a mess for your loved ones just when they need it least.

Then we come to the stuff we might not want to think about. Like a funeral service. Or obituary. Nothing uncomfortable at all about thinking about that stuff. But back to our original thought – the end is inevitable. Do you want to leave your family to do alllll the things? That’s fine. Funerals are for the living and I think families should feel empowered to do whatever they need to grieve and find some closure. That being said a little input from you might make that easier… even if it’s just to say do what you like.

These are the foundations of a comprehensive death plan. There’s lots more that can go in this folder and I’ll expand on this theme from time to time. But what I’d like you to do, in this time of a global pandemic, is start thinking about these hard things. Because the problem is always that you think you have time. And there is no guarantee on that.

#endoflife #zerotohero #deathplan

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