April, 2014

What to Say When Someone Dies

The website, mindbodygreen, has a great article about what you should never say to someone who is grieving after the loss of a loved one, and manages to balance the writing by sharing what could and maybe should be said. Whenever you’ve not been sure what to say to someone, the article may help you considerably. You do not want to say the wrong thing, which is why some people say very little and others say nothing and avoid the person grieving. Mostly, but not always, people wish to talk when they are grieving as it’s all part of the process. Where you have organised a funeral plan in advance, the grieving process is easier to handle because you can concentrate on the right things and not on how much you wish to spend on flowers and deciding over how many cars you need for the funeral. Related articles Grieve Your Way Your...

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5 Essentials to Complete Before You De

The Dying Matters Awareness Week runs from the 12 to 18 May, 2014. This is an event that has been organised by the Dying Matters Coalition where they encourage people to talk openly about dying, death and bereavement. The idea of the awareness week is to get as many people as possible thinking, talking and acting positively. In essence, they are suggesting that the public take five simple steps to make the life experience better, both of them and for all their loved ones. These are: Write your will Record your funeral wishes – preferably with a Pre-Paid Funeral Plan Plan your future care and support Consider registering as an organ donor Tell your loved ones your wishes The Dying Matters website shows a a full range of resources to help you get involved, including leaflets, posters, banners, advice on organising your own events and resources to help you engage with local media. Who are Dying Matters? From their website; Dying Matters is a broad based and inclusive national coalition of 30,000 members, which aims to change public knowledge, attitudes and behaviours towards dying, death and bereavement. In 2009, the National Council for Palliative Care (NCPC) set up the Dying Matters Coalition to promote public awareness of dying, death and bereavement. It is chaired by Professor Mayur Lakhani, who is a practising GP. The work of the Coalition is supported by NCPC’s Board of Trustees. The main theme is that it’s vital to talk, plan and make arrangements for the end of life – before it’s too late.   Related articles Plan the death you want before it’s too...

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Estate Planning All Over the World

For many people, the words “estate planning” may conjure up thoughts of large inheritances and tax shelters. But planning “isn’t just about death and taxes; it’s also about what happens if you get very sick and live.” The Wall Street Journal informs its readers about ‘Four Estate-Planning Documents Everyone Should Have’ and that ‘Plans Aren’t Just About Inheritances and Tax Shelters.’ They go on to suggest that almost everyone would benefit from drawing up legal documents to protect  the living period of a person’s life (the only time you can be alive!) and with full estate planning, suggesting the need to look at Living Wills and Power of Attorney documents for both finances and health as well as the traditional planning via a Will. The reason people need these documents in the US of A is just as relevant in the UK, as they probably are, in most jurisdictions across the...

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A Will Writer’s View about Funeral Plans

I am a will writer and I see clients regularly who know nothing about what happens when someone dies. Here I hope to share some of my thoughts with your readers. It is a very difficult time for anyone, young or old, to deal with the death of a loved one. Having had personal experience with this I can relate to this, first hand. I do feel that there is a need to supply clients with a breakdown of ‘what to do when someone passes away’. I strongly feel that the list should not be over extensive, but to indicate the initial matters to deal with. Probate and estate administration should be at the bottom of the list and should not go into a great deal of detail, but give an indication of how to obtain further information once the funeral has been dealt with. People have indicated to me that they have no idea what to do when someone dies, other than contacting a doctor. It is somewhat a little easier when someone dies in hospital as some of the initial matters are dealt with by hospital employees. Many people have no idea why it is necessary to have a post mortem. However, some are daunted by having to go to the register office to register the death and are totally out on a limb. If someone takes out a funeral plan it does take a lot of the pressure off the family in trying to sort the initial matters out. I know myself that elderly people do not talk to their children or family about their wishes for their funeral and this can make things extremely difficult at a time of grieving, especially to sort out the final arrangements for a loved one and deciding what they would actually like. Very often only the choice of a burial or a cremation is indicated in a will. Having had the forethought to choose a funeral plan indicating their funeral choices, it is one less burden for the family to deal with. I do agree that many relative’s second thoughts are ‘How much are they getting from the will,’ but it is also important for the deceased to have left details of where the will is and to know who the executors are. Many people do not even discuss with their families who their doctor is. I know when...

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What’s on Your Bucket List?

A bucket list doesn’t have to be associated with death, but often is. It is a number of experiences or achievements that a person hopes to have or complete during their lifetime and doesn’t have to be a list drawn up when you know your last days or months are numbered. Ask Jeeves, a website, has put together a list of ’50 British Things To Do Before You Die.’ What would be on your list, given the time, energy, good health and sufficient finances? Many people believe that a bucket list should include visits to see the many wonders of the world, but there are plenty of great places to visit in good old Blighty. Ask Jeeves created the list and it’s based on a survey of British adults about the experiences they thought everyone should enjoy in the UK, so they’re only suggestions. What about visiting the end of Southend’s Pier? It’s the longest pier in the world and you could finish the outing with a Rossi lemon ice cream. Make it part of your funeral plan. From the list, it would appear relatively easy to watch a British player at Wimbledon, these days. THE GREAT BRITISH BUCKET LIST 1. Eat fish and chips on a seaside pier 2. See whales off Wales 3. Go to a night at the proms at the Albert Hall 4. Visit the Giant’s Causeway, N.Ireland 5. Have a picnic at an open air concert 6. Go up in the London Eye 7. Travel Scotland’s West Coast by rail 8. Watch a Shakespeare play in Stratford 9. Dine in a Gordon Ramsay restaurant 10. Go to a British Grand Prix 11. See inside the Houses of Parliament 12. Get the Ffestiniog railway up Snowdon 13. Go to Glastonbury Festival 14. Hold the FA Cup in your hands 15. Take in the view from the top of the Shard 16. Stonehenge on longest day of the year 17. See the trooping of the colour 18. Go to a cricket test match 19. ‘The Prisoner’ village Portmeirion, Wales 20. Have tea at Betty’s tearooms, Harrogate 21. See a traditional Xmas panto 22. Watch a British player at Wimbledon 23. Do a ‘Wainwright’ walk in the Lake District 24. Drive round Brand’s Hatch 25. Visit a whisky distillery 26. Go to a six nations rugby match 27. A Jack the Ripper walk in the East End...

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