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don’t read this …

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… unless you’re going to die some day. I just completed a list of people (with phone numbers and email addresses) to be contacted when I die and sent it to my executors. They’re the two kind men who’ve agreed to execute my will, liquidate my belongings, pay taxes, distribute my wealth [sic] according to my will.

I’ve updated my Last Will, with a copy at my lawyer’s and another in the fridge at home (apparently a good common practice). I’ve left instructions for the body to go to the medical school for educational and research purposes, with the cremated leftovers to be interred at the monastery. The corneas of my eyes will be “harvested” for transplantation through the Eye Bank.

I mention all this because most people I’ve asked (statistics point to 60%) don’t have a will. Many reasons: I’m too young; my family will take care of things; I don’t own anything;  I haven’t had time. Mainly, I think, because the topic of death and dying is just too unpleasant and so we avoid all mention of it. But when it comes to communicating funeral wishes and having a will in place, we’re actually doing others a favour. They’ll be busy enough coming to terms with your passing and won’t have to second-guess “what she/he would have wanted.”



7 responses »

  1. Peter you are so right. The thing is the actual process of having a will is easy once a person steps up to get it done. I didn’t have one until after David had his stroke and he had one but it was from before we knew each other. So the second half of this equation is once you have one, keep reviewing it to ensure that it reflects your current circumstances and wishes.

    I so agree that it is most important for others to know what to do and then be able to get it done. Thank you Peter for the reminder… that I shall die… someday… any day… and that I need to be responsible about what is left behind.

    Right now I am trying to figure out how to leave wishes for my online life and internet clutter – blog, facebook, twitter, photography sites, art sites. It is a whole new consideration.

  2. When i joined the military, one of the first things that I had to do before even going to any training was write out my will. It was sobering to say the least.

  3. How organized you are. What a wake-up call for the rest of us!

  4. this is a very good idea – we never know when we draw our last breath. what are we waiting for to get the will in place? i also have a letter on my computer desktop – titled ‘in case i die directions’ – things that don’t necessarily need to be in a will and yet important to be thought about and done! there is also a who gets what list… frequently updated!

  5. It is always a good reminder especially if one has children one should never let a government make the decision for children. Having been an executer to my mom’s estate it is very helpful to know what one’s wishes are makes a difficult time a little easier.


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