What books do you suggest to your clients when it comes to end-of-life and funeral planning issues? I’ve got a bunch of great resources on my bookshelf. Here are a few recommendations for your consideration, with direct links to Amazon:
Jane Brody, weekly personal health columnist for The New York Times, has written prolifically on living a healthy lifestyle. As she so practically notes in the preface to her book, “…even the healthiest of lives eventually must come to an end. In this book I hope to help my readers make that end – for themselves and for those they love – as peaceful and, yes, as enjoyable as it can be.”
The full title pretty much says it all: Jane Brody’s Guide to the Great Beyond: A Practical Primer to Help You and Your Loved Ones Prepare Medically, Legally, and Emotionally for the End of Life. This book is a wonderful resource that covers many planning areas in a warm, thoughtful tone. Throughout, Brody provides great insights on advance directives, funeral planning, care giving, hospice and palliative care, spiritual care, organ and body donations, and so much more. (hardback and Kindle)
The Party of Your Life: Get the Funeral You Want by Planning It Yourself by Erika Dillman is a relentlessly upbeat guide to making your send-off a memorable celebration. The book provides guidance on details for the funeral of the future: a major party! She encourages individuals to write down all the desired elements, from themes and settings to music and readings. With snappy chapter titles and helpful how-to tips, Dillman encourages establishing a funeral box, an official funeral website, and a posse to carry out your funeral plans. (paperback)
GRAVE reflections by funeral directors Gloria and Louis Salazar provides well-grounded information about funeral planning, burial versus cremation, legal issues surrounding death, prearrangement and insurance, and more. In a nice finishing touch, both authors wrote their own obituaries and funeral plans. (Kindle, paperback through www.GraveReflections.com)
Last but not least, there’s my book, A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don’t Plan to Die. It covers the gamut with a light touch, from death’s door to “what if” questions. Steve Hartnett, AAEPA ‘s Associate Director of Education, is featured answering questions on how to ensure arrangements are carried out, pet trusts, and what happens when a person dies without a will or trust. (paperback and ebook)
Look for other titles related to care for ailing loved ones in my next post.
Gail Rubin is a Certified Celebrant who brings light to a dark subject and helps get funeral planning conversations started. Her book, A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don’t Plan to Die, has won multiple awards. Gail is an ongoing contributor to the Academy blog. Contact her at 505-265-7215 or email Gail@AGoodGoodbye.com.
Academy Guest Blogger
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
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