One of the greatest legacies you can leave your loved ones is to ensure they have the information they need when you die. This allows your family to focus on grieving and healing rather than being consumed by stressful searches for information or even worse, family conflicts around decisions. As an added bonus, preplanning results in conversations that can create a more meaningful process for the whole family.

The topic of preplanning became a bit of a mission for me a few years ago when a friend with a terminal illness did not have the difficult discussions and the denial created stress and dissention that could have been avoided. When my elderly parents passed away, the search for necessary documents was an unwelcome diversion from the grieving process. I decided that our family would be different.

This led to the development of a workbook called “Departing Details Workbook- a step-by-step guide to leaving your loved ones with the information they need to know when you die. “  Through a series of co-incidences that workbook was purchased by a major Canadian bank to test with wealth management clients and through word of mouth a few hundred copies were sold in late 2016 and early 2017.  In order to make the workbook more accessible, in an affordable way, it is now offered on the website www.estateworkbook.com

We have expanded our website to include a “Resources” and a “Blog” page with the goal of providing helpful links and educational resources to assist people in having the discussions about many important topics.  We are pleased that “The Speak Up Project” is now a key resource on our webpage to assist users in completing Tab #2 Living Will or Advance Directive (one of 25 Tabs in the workbook). It is our hope that our readers link to www.advancecareplanning.ca and avail themselves of the comprehensive information that is provided, even by province and territory of residence.  Whether you use “Departing Details” or another guide, the important thing is to ensure your loved ones have the necessary information. It is an act of love and one of the kindest things you can do for your family.

By Rosemary Pahl RN, MBA