So as I mentioned, my dad died a few weeks ago. The family was already scheduled to come for Christmas so we’re holding a memorial (more wake than mourning) in a few more days. Which doesn’t stop the pall from hanging over the holiday.
Anyway, we’re amicably dividing things (honestly lucky here not to have sibling warfare), and running into things that are, at least for me, turning into preparation lessons for when it’s my turn.
For example: make a list of everyone who should be told. I have a lot of friends (some of you reading this) who should be told if I die in case you want to say goodbye in your own fashion. So I’m assembling that list – or ways to make the announcement to various groups of friends – for my daughter or wife to reference.
For example: my parents did a “reminiscence book” a few years ago. There are several on the marketplace, but basically it’s specific questions of events and incidents in your life. “Pick a favorite memory of your mother.” and “Tell me about your first kiss.” sort of things. Guess who’s now in the process of answering a book of questions. Yeah.
For example: make certain everything your executor needs is easily accessible. Most of mine is, but not all. In my dad’s case he and my mom only completed the nightmare of dealing with no preparation a couple of years ago and decided not to inflict that on us, so it’s been remarkably easy. Even so there are bits and pieces. But if nothing else: a will and a conditional power of attorney (on my death). Powers of attorney for incompetence (hospital, for example), living wills, and all that sort of thing is also a good thing, but the first two are the most important. If you really want to make a bonus help, find out what your state’s requirements for pieces will be and where possible pave the way. For example, I’m a military veteran. There are benefits for which I’m eligible (and others I’m not). I’ve looked up mine and they’re in a letter for my daughter and wife (in the event of…) — along with a certified copy of my DD214.
You get the idea, I think. I’m learning lots of little things for preparation, and I hope to use them for my family’s benefit. And maybe you’ll get use as well.