Friday, October 24, 2014

The Death Book

The topic on elder story yesterday was pre-planning for the inevitable end.  I am always surprised by just how many people are uncomfortable about the subject let alone actually doing anything to prepare for it.  I on the other hand started thinking about this when I was 26 years old.

Because I was a single mother I wanted to make sure I had things in order in case anything happened to me.   My children were too young to make such decisions so I knew I had to put information somewhere so it would be available to whoever had to take care of things.  That's when I made my "Death" book.   I put everything in this binder including appointing a guardian for my children.  I had talked to an attorney about how I wanted my children to go to my parents because their father wasn't in their life and I didn't want him to just show up and take the kids.  I found out I couldn't prevent that from happening but I could appoint a guardian over the girl's money....anything they received from my estate.  Well, I knew that if the money didn't come with the girls their dad would probably not want them and he'd leave them with my parents.  It was a gamble but I felt better about it.  

So that was my motivation to get my end of life affairs in order.  I have kept that book up-to-date ever since.  It was a relief when the girls turned 18 because I knew then they would be of age to make decisions for themselves.  I would go over the book with them every few years so they understood what all the documents were and what they would need to do in case something happened to me.  I know they thought I was morbid when they were younger but this year they each asked me to put together a book for each of them that they can complete for themselves.  This is what they want for Christmas.   

I guess I don't look so crazy to them anymore.

Well, my need to be prepared for all situations is a little over the top I guess.  I even have a "death" book for work.  I made a book explaining everything I do so that if I suddenly died anyone would be able to follow the instructions in the book and do my job.  I just don't want to leave anything undone.   OK....maybe I am a little extreme!


Olga Hebert said...

That is some amazing foresight and organized planning!

kenju said...

I agree with Olga. I applaud you for doing that, especially for your daughters.

Deb said...

I'm with you Dani. I had a very close shave at 27, and afterwards we did wills and appointed guardians for our boys. We need to update the wills, as the last ones are five years old, but we've added medical directives and living wills so our families don't have to make difficult decisions for us.

paisely brook said...

i would like a death book for christmas too