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Talking about Death

I did get an A in Professor Kriswell’s pysch class in college but I am certainly no psychologist.  However, after 18 years of doing estate planning I am pretty familiar with the topic of death and dying. I am familiar with common thought patterns, common thoughts and also the divergence of thoughts on the topics of death and dying.  Though a lot of people have similar views there are a lot of people with wide ranges of ideas and thoughts.

I am extra introspective today as I deal with a close friend who is dying. Talking to him about his impending death makes one think even deeper about this already deep topic.

Being able to talk to an estate planning attorney about death and dying is good. It helps make your estate plan, your trust, your wills, your powers of attorney, and the rest of the documents more suited to YOU. Being open about the tough issues makes your documents stronger and it makes your plan better.

However, beyond talking to your lawyer I encourage you to talk to your family. Open up and share with them.  Let them know what you want to happen if you are on life support. Let them know if you want visitors in your final days. Let them know if you want surgeries. Let them know if you want to be cremated or buried. Let them know if you want to have a ceremony, or have certain songs sung, or to make sure certain people are there. LET THEM KNOW!

Telling your lawyer is good but your lawyer might not be contacted until you are dead and scattered at sea. If the lawyer has a document you want to be buried not cremated it would be too late. Let your family know what you want!

-John