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Hi everybody.

I'm glad other people are finding a good use for this board. I'd love to see as many people as possible sharing their personal or professional perspectives on what has and hasn't worked for them.

Sadly, my dad passed away on July 17. As horrible as it was, he wasn't in any pain, he wasn't attached to any machines and he was surrounded by his family. Requiescat in pace.

I wanted to pass along a few thoughts that have occured to me in the interim, esp. in terms of things I'm grateful my parents took care of ahead of time (or wish they had...)

Potentially difficult things my dad took care of:

*expressed very clearly to more than one person his feelings about various end-of-life interventions, extraordinary care, withdrawal of life support, etc.
*told all of his children how much he loved them and how proud he was
*made his peace with God and received the Annointing of the Sick (important to Catholics)
*told me where he'd kept all his writings on the computer and encouraged me and sibs to read them if we wanted

A few things I wish my parents had taken care of together before dad died:

*get all relevent papers in one place. Relevent papers include birth certificate, military discharge, social security, cemetary deed, will/living trust, etc. etc. If anybody notices anything missing, please add on...
*decide on a burial location. Although my dad was terminally ill, apparently my mom didn't consider this until we were planning the wake and funeral.
*update the will to reflect current financial and family situation
*get a handle on finances-- how much money is in 401k/pension/IRA? how much life insurance? how much are property taxes and maintenance? what are tax implications? etc. etc.

I hope this will help anyone who needs to start a conversation with their parent. I'm sure there are items I've missed, so please add on. Thankfully my father was very pragmatic about these things are had no qualms about discussing "after I'm gone". But if anybody has any tips to share on getting more reticent parents to adderss these issues, they might be really beneficial to others on the board...

Margaret
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