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|Must Read: Death for Beginners|
|Wednesday, 11 May 2011 04:37|
Jones, Karen. Death for Beginners: Your no-nonsense money-saving guide to planning for the inevitable. Fresno, CA: Quill Driver Books, 2010, 241 pages
This is an unusual book. A serious, oft-avoided topic is addressed head-on with taste, humor and a wealth of practical, useful information. Most of us are reluctant to address our inevitable demise. We avoid planning, whether it is planning for the distribution of our financial assets, disposition of our remains, or the execution of our final arrangements. As a result, we add to the grief, heartache and confusion among survivors that so often occur after we die. As Jones writes, “ . . .in the mad scramble to take care of details, wrong decisions are often made, money is wasted, feelings are hurt and stress is exponentially compounded.” Her book, however, provides a road map for survivors to follow. Please read this book if you think you might die one day.
In a very readable and even lighthearted format, Jones takes the reader from what to do with the body (there are six ways to get rid of a body), to the four basic types of services and three types of formal death notifications . The reader will learn how to donate a body to a body farm (where forensic scientists study decomposition), or how to arrange a burial at sea, or how to blast your beloved into outer space. Of course, more traditional forms of burial and cremation are discussed in great detail. Ms. Jones describes numerous options available, including some price information and general legal information. There is information on green burial, traditional and non-traditional caskets and urns, how to make death and funeral notifications and how to manage the legal snarl that often follows a death. There is even a chapter on managing grief.
Although the book does a thorough job of covering basic essentials and traditional approaches, many unusual and truly unique topics are covered. For example, you can have your ashes made into a picture frame, jewelry or potting soil; you can become part of a marine habitat (Eternal Reef); your body can be mummified or dissolved (alkaline hydrolysis). The author walks us through writing an obituary and an epitaph. And survivors are directed toward a variety of sources for help with almost any situation relating to death and after-death management.
Every chapter includes a listing of websites and other sources of further information on each valuable topic. Fifty-eight pages of checklists and worksheets are included, and also available on the website. A comprehensive bibliography, glossary and index make this book even more useful and easy to navigate.
Death for Beginners can be an excellent conversation starter for anyone who cares enough about their survivors to want to make the process at and after death more tolerable and less expensive. Please . . . please consider the mess that you may leave behind. Proper planning can be the greatest gift you give your loved ones. As Ms. Jones so thoughtfully points out, “ . . . you may be dead, but you still have to mind your manners.”
Ronald Zack offers affordable, basic and advanced estate planning packages for your situation. Counseling focuses on your needs and desires. Please call and ask about our plans.
Ronald Zack is a Tucson Estate Planning and Elder Law attorney who can help design an estate plan that will achieve your objectives, including providing for yourself in the event of your disability and your loved ones after you are gone. A carefully prepared estate plan can assure the transfer of your non-financial wealth, along with your financial assets. In addition to wills, trusts, powers of attorney and other planning documents, Ronald Zack can help with any actions in Probate Court - guardianships, conservatorships, probate administration. Please call for a comprehensive evaluation that will focus on your needs and your particular situation.
Ronald Zack PLC
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 May 2011 04:46|
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