After Meeting for Worship on Sunday, January 29, Cush Anthony and Tess Hartford will lead an educational seminar on “Preparing for Your Demise.”
The program will begin at noon, and is being sponsored by Ministry and Counsel.
Here is a summary of their advice.
Preparing for your demise; an outline for an educational seminar
1. Make a tentative plan. If you are married, assume you survive your spouse. Identify the person best suited to be in charge of carrying out this plan.
2. Discuss the plan in depth first with the person you selected to carry out the plan. Then discuss it with each of your children as well as with any other individual whom you believe would want to know or should know about the plan. Would this plan meet the needs of each of them? Have I selected the best person to be in charge of carrying out my plan? If so, give out written authorizations you expect would be needed. Then give each of your children and others you believe should be informed about your plans a written copy of what you have set down as your plan.
3. Identify likely medical issues that may arise. Prepare an Advance Directive based on state law, stating what you would want done in the event you become unable to make appropriate decisions to control your own medical treatment. Give a copy to all physicians who have been or who are likely to be looking after your health. Talk about it with them, to get their stated agreement with what you want, and make notes about the conversation. Even a brief letter of confirmation is a good idea to avoid problems and misunderstandings down the road.
4. Prepare an inventory of your assets and your debts for use by your next of kin. Prepare any needed written authorizations for financial institutions. Make sure appropriate documents can be found when needed. Be sure to include information about credit cards which should be cancelled, and where any safe deposit box key is located.
5. In your plan make clear if you believe that part of your plan should be carried out after you die by someone different, designate who that should be, make sure appropriate authorizations are in place, and make sure that all other next of kin candidates agree to that.
6. Do you want your eyes or other organs to be made available to people who need them? If so, fill out an organ donation form, and have that ready to give to a funeral director as well as to your primary care physician. If you plan to give your whole body to a medical school, make alternate plans as well in case the entity will not accept the gift at the last minute.
7. Select a funeral director who is willing to carry out your wishes at a reasonable cost. Make sure you agree on a price for the needed services and put your agreement in writing signed by both parties.
8. Cremation cannot take place until at least 48 hours have passed since death. Make sure your body can be stored somewhere for a short time if that becomes necessary. Identify who will transport your body to the crematorium. Also state your plan for disposition of the ashes.
9. If you are selecting to have your body interred, where that should take place, and who to contact to make arrangements about that. If you wish to have a green burial, make that clear and make sure that is an option at the location you select.
10. Start an obituary that can be completed later and then given to newspapers. Indicate where you want it to be published.
11. Make tentative plans for a memorial service. Do this in conjunction with the Meeting’s Ministry and Counsel Committee. There are many details that should be worked out jointly with the Meeting33 far ahead of time