Control from the crypt end of life documentation


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A look at the audience, context, and purpose of the variety of documents to facilitate end-of-life planning.

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Control from the crypt end of life documentation

  1. 1. Control from the Crypt: End-of-Life Documentation John Martin Technical Communicator ESFJ
  2. 2. The way it is…Checking In Checking Out
  3. 3. AgendaAudience, context, purposeDocumentation typesProtecting your “digital afterlife”Reframing the taskA “Last Wishes” example
  4. 4. AudienceThe courtsFinancial institutionsMedical professionalsExecutor/ExecutrixLoved onesPublic
  5. 5. ContextPhysically Emotionally At home Presumably sad In a hospital Potentially confused In Hospice care and distracted In a crematorium Possibly contentious In a funeral home In a court room
  6. 6. PurposeTo make your wishes knownTo make your wishes legally bindingTo facilitate the settling of your estateTo help provide closure
  7. 7. DocumentationLegalMedicalPersonal
  8. 8. Legal Documentation Will [The courts, Loved ones] Durable General Power of Attorney [The courts, Financial institutions] Durable Health Care Power of Attorney [The courts, Medical professionals] Desire for a Natural Death (a.k.a., “A living will”) [The courts, Medical professionals]
  9. 9. Legal: Will [The courts, Loved ones] North Carolina Intestate Succession Laws Exclusions  Proceeds of insurance policies with designated beneficiaries  Balances of investment accounts (e.g., IRA, 401K) with designated beneficiaries  Property owned jointly with survivorship rights
  10. 10. Legal: Post Incompetency Durable Power of Attorney [The courts, Financial institutions] Real Property Transactions  Personal Relationships and Affairs Personal Property Transactions  Social Security and Unemployment Bond, Share, Stock, Securities and  Benefits from Military Service Commodity Transactions  Tax Matters Banking Transactions  Employment of Agents Safe Deposits  Gifts to Charities and to Individuals Business Operating Transactions Other Than the Attorney-in-Fact Insurance Transactions  Gifts to the Named Attorney-in-Fact Estate Transactions
  11. 11. Legal: Health Care Power of Attorney [The courts, Medical institutions] Designation of Health Care Agent  Organ Donation Effectiveness of Appointment  Guardianship Provision Revocation  Reliance of Third Parties on Health Care Agent General Statement of Authority Granted  Miscellaneous Provisions Special Provisions and Limitations  Revocation of prior powers of attorney  Artificial Nutrition or Hydration  Jurisdiction, Severability, and Durability  Health Care Decisions  Health Care Agent Not Liable  Mental Health Decisions  No Civil or Criminal Liability  Advanced Mental Health Treatment  Reimbursement  Autopsy and Disposition of Remains
  12. 12. Legal: Declaration of Desire for a Natural Death [The courts, Medical institutions] When my directives apply  Health Care Agent “Override” Directives about prolonging  Health Care Providers’ Reliance my life on this Directive Exceptions – “Artificial  Directive Effective Anywhere Nutrition or Hydration”  Right to Revoke this Advanced Wish to be Made as Directive Comfortable as Possible Understanding my Advanced Directive
  13. 13. Medical Documentation Durable Health Care Power of Attorney [Medical professionals] Desire for a Natural Death (a.k.a., “A living will”) [Medical professionals] Five Wishes [Medical professionals, Loved ones]
  14. 14. Medical: Five Wishes [Medical professionals, Loved ones] From the Aging with Dignity organization 1. The person I want to make decisions for me when I can’t 2. The kind of medical treatment I want or don’t want 3. How comfortable I want to be 4. How I want people to treat me 5. What I want my loved ones to know
  15. 15. Five Wishes: How comfortable I want to be  I do not want to be in pain. I want my doctor to give me enough medicine to relieve my pain, even if that means I will be drowsy or sleep more than I would otherwise.  If I show signs of depression, nausea, shortness of breath, or hallucinations, I want my caregivers to do whatever they can to help me.  I wish to have a cool moist cloth put on my head if I have a fever.  I want my mouth and lips kept moist to stop dryness.  I wish to have my favorite music played when possible until my time of death.  I wish to have religious and well-loved poems read aloud when I am near death.
  16. 16. Five Wishes: How I want people to treat me  I want someone to be with me when it seems that death may come at any time.  If wish to have my hand held and be talked to when possible, even if I don’t seem to respond to the voice or touch of others.  I wish to have members of my faith community told that I am sick and asked to pray for me and visit me.  I wish to be cared for with kindness and cheerfulness, and not sadness.  I wish to have pictures of my loved ones in my room, near by bed.  I want to die in my home, if that can be done.
  17. 17. Five Wishes: What I want my loved ones to know I wish to have my family and friends know that I love them. I wish to be forgiven for the times that I’ve hurt my family, friends, and others. I wish for my family, friends, and caregivers to respect my wishes even if they don’t agree with them. I wish for my family and friends to look at my dying as a time of personal growth for everyone, including me. This will help me live a meaningful life in my final days. I wish for my family and friends to get counseling if they have trouble with my death. I want memories of my life to give them joy, not sorrow.
  18. 18. Personal Documentation Five Wishes [Medical professionals, Loved ones] “Executive summary” [Executor/Executrix] Pre-paid funeral or cremation plan [Executor/Executrix, Loved ones] Obituary [Executor/Executrix, Public] Memorial service [Loved ones] Personal identity inventory [Executor/Executrix]
  19. 19. “Executive Summary” [Executor/Executrix] Who’s in charge  Summary of will  Will  Primary beneficiaries  Post Competency Durable  Contingent executor Power of Attorney  Real property  Health Care Power of Attorney  Motor vehicle  Tangible personal property Employment information (e.g., cash not in accounts, clothing jewelry, household)  Employer  Intangible personal property  Manager (e.g., bank accounts, retirement accounts without beneficiaries)  HR contact
  20. 20. Pre-paid funeral or cremation plan [Executor/Executrix, Loved ones] Cremation Society of the Carolinas, Inc. “Inflation-proof Pre-need Funeral Agreement and Assignment” 08/13/1997 “Basic Plan” ($1445)  Embalming ($295)  Other Use of Facilities and Staff: Public Viewing ($275)  Cremation ($750)  Travel Protection Plan ($125)
  21. 21. Obituary [Executor/Executrix, Public] Late Fragment And did you get what you wanted from this life even so? I did. And what did you want? To call myself beloved, to feel myself beloved on the earth.John Martin, [insert age here], will be burnt to a crisp on [insert date here]. John died as a result of [insert here what thepeople came to find out]. Arrangements are being handled by the Cremation Society of the Carolinas. John had a keen senseof humor, a quick wit, and lived a full, and fulfilled, life. Being an avid obituary reader, he authored his own.John earned a Bachelors degree in Math & Computer Science in 1980 and a Masters degree in Technical Communication in 2007.He had a 20-year career at IBM, earlier as a software tester, and later as an information developer and technical editor.Writing was his passion, and he was a published author as well as a committed blogger. His writings, including his blog, canbe accessed via his home page on the Internet: He once took a year off work to write anovel, which led to his living the life he was put here to live. He said shortly after coming out, "How profoundly sad it wouldhave been to have lived my entire life not being who I really was." John was an avid two-stepper and line dancer, and coinedthe term "ambidancestrous" to describe his ability to both lead and follow.He is survived by Robert Shumaker, who constantly warmed his heart; his parents, Pauline and Manuel Martin; his brotherMichael Martin; his dear sister, Vivian Covington, and her husband Jeff; his niece Meagan Hough, her husband Chris, andtheir children; his nephew Michael Gabriel Martin; his ex-wife, Donna Martin, an incredible lady; and a host of belovedpeople in his life.John expressed in his last wishes that, in the place of flowers, a donation be made in his name to The David Lohse MemorialFund, 3140 FM 1339, Kingsbury, TX 78638-1102 or to Love Wins Ministry, PO Box 25135, Raleigh, NC 27611. A memorialservice will be held at the Cremation Society of the Carolinas, 2205 East Millbrook Road, at [insert time and date here].
  22. 22. Memorial Service [Loved ones] It is my wish that any or all organs be donated. It is my wish to not have a viewing at a funeral home. It is my wish to be cremated. I have a pre-paid cremation plan with the Cremation Society of the Carolinas. It is my wish that the least expensive container for cremating be used, if its necessary to use one. I dont care if it looks cheap. I have no particular wish for anything to be done with my ashes; however, it is my wish to not have them kept anywhere where it will be necessary to pay someone for perpetual care. If they are not needed for the memorial gathering described herein, and no one wants them for anything, just leave them in the incinerator. Believe me, it will not hurt my feelings. It is my wish to provide an opportunity for my immediate family (including Robert Shumaker) to "see the body" if they need to. However, I dont want this set up as a separate "public viewing." As long as they can "take a look or touch" sometime before the cremation, that would be fine. It is my wish to have a two-hour time set aside at the Cremation Society for a memorial gathering, where my body, closed up in the cheap cremation container (draped in purple if possible), will be in a room with chairs scattered all about. I would like to have the following pieces of music played during this time: Allegri Miserere, The Tallis Scholars directed by Peter Phillips, Gimell, CDGIM 339, and Verdi Requiem & Operatic Choruses, Robert Shaw conducting the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra & Chorus (I have both of these CDs.) I would prefer that no clergy be associated with my memorial service in an official capacity. It would be fine for any friends to speak during this time either to the group or amongst themselves. This should be "just if it happens," though; I dont want an "agenda" arranged, or a eulogy planned. If my death is one such that its not possible to have the body available during the memorial service, then Id like this same type of memorial service to take place when possible with either the ashes in an urn or container (if anyone bothered to keep them), or with just a picture of me. It is my wish to not have flowers as part of my memorial service. Instead, please recommend a donation in my name to The David Lohse Memorial Fund or Love Wins Ministry (see obit for addresses). Some kind of blowout party could follow this if anyone feels like throwing one, preferably one with two-stepping and line-dancing cowboys in attendance. :-)
  23. 23. Personal Identity Inventory [Executor/Executrix] Personal ID Numbers (SSN, NCDL, Passport, Voter Registration, Employee ID) Estate Planning Attorney contact info Cremation Arrangements Work-related retirement plan and death benefits info Email accounts (work, personal) Real Estate / vehicle info Bank/Credit union accounts (and “snapshot balances”) Safety Deposit Box info Investment accounts (and “snapshot balances”) Insurance policies Credit card accounts Utilities accounts Miscellaneous accounts (HOA, Blog, Home page domain, Public Library card, AAA) Executor duties Other income (forgiving a personal loan) Charitable donation (outside of my will) Loved one contacts
  24. 24. Protecting Your Digital Afterlife The Digital Beyond: Digital Death and Afterlife Online Services List  ~40 services  Digital estate planning  Posthumous emails  Online memorials
  25. 25. Reframing the Task I believe in being prepared, and well, there is that matter of my extremely short lifeline. This is the final preparation. You laugh, but if youre named the executor to my estate, youll be thanking me. This information is not a desperate attempt to be in control even after Im dead, though that thought does appeal to me. Its a gift to those left in charge.
  26. 26. “Last Wishes” Example My documents for perusal
  27. 27. Questions