End of life planning

End of Life Planning

End of life planning is not a fun subject. Who on earth wants to think about themselves (or those they love) dying? Yet every month when I do my Project Me Life Wheel® check-in and I see the Money area prompt asking whether my will has been updated and if I’d know where to find important financial documents… I bury my head in the sand and think, ‘I’ll deal with that next month…’ Can you relate?

My husband and I made our wills back when our kids were small and they’re filed away at our lawyers office, but since then the dear friend we chose to be the executor of our wills has himself passed away. His tragic death shook us to the core. We saw firsthand what happens to a family when, amongst the grieving, there is no will. 

Jane Duncan Rogers is the founder of Before I Go Solutions, a not-for-profit dedicated to having end of life plans become as commonplace as birth plans, and to encourage people to be more at ease talking about dying, death and grief. Jane says: 

If you don’t dare to think about this, then you will likely be leaving your family a very big mess – at the very least a muddle, which they could well do without – at a time when they will be distraught at you not being there.

When you don’t make a will, or intend to but keep putting it off, by default you are making a decision not to have a will. This means you are actively deciding to:

  • subject your family and loved ones to months, if not years, of extra expense while the affairs are sorted out
  • risk your property being distributed to people whom you would not want to give it to
  • allow social services to determine who should look after your children, should neither parent be able to
  • choose to pay tax to the government that could otherwise have been left to the family
  • give your loved ones a lengthy, drawn out process, involving stress, anxiety and tedium

Take a deep breath with me right now.

Are you up for a Project Me challenge? 

How about if you and I make a pact that we will stop procrastinating on this and get it done (or at least make decent headway) by the end of this month?)

  • Making a will / updating wills
  • Sharing bank account numbers, passwords and knowing where other important documents are like birth certificates, life / home insurance policies, etc.
  • Telling someone our wishes regarding any online presence we have. (Social media accounts, for example.)

This can be also be the perfect opportunity to speak to our parents about these important matters. We could show them this article and kindly suggest that we set aside some time to discuss these matters in a positive, productive way. 

Jane Duncan Rogers

I’ve invited Jane Duncan Rogers of Before I Go Solutions to run an online workshop for my Project WE members on Monday March 16th at 8pm UK time. (Here’s a handy timezone converter)

If you’re not already a member of Project WE and would like to join in, we’d love to have you. Membership is only $19 (or £15) a month so you can join now and get this workshop, plus all of the other content inside of the Members’ Hub for the next month. If you decide you’d like to cancel your membership, just send an email before your month is up and you won’t be charged again. 

All members will receive a workshop replay video. Inside of our members’ community we will hold each other accountable for whatever actions we wish to take based on the workshop.  

Although Jane is based in the UK, she works internationally and says it’s surprising how much end of life matters are similar in each (Western) country. However, for the specifics in each state/country, individuals would have to double check what the legalities were, what local initiatives are offered in terms of funerals or assisted dying, for instance, or anything else. 

You can find out more about Jane’s important not-for-profit work here at Before I Go Solutions

Let me know in the comments under this post whether you’re joining me in getting this done by the end of March 2020. (Or if you have a specific date in mind.) You can also share if you’ve taken care of all of this so I can give you a virtual high five! 

Here’s where to join Project WE and get in on this important workshop.

Positively yours,

Photo by Sindre Strøm from Pexels

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  1. Fiona on March 4, 2020 at 6:49 PM

    Already a Project We member and I’m in! Look forward to this workshop and your accountability to finally get this sorted. Thank you so much Kelly. You are a mind reader. x

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on March 4, 2020 at 7:22 PM

      I’m so happy you’re in Fiona – see you at the workshop! xx

    • Jane Duncan Rogers on March 6, 2020 at 9:16 AM

      Looking forward to meeting you Fiona, glad you get the importance of it!

  2. Louisa on March 4, 2020 at 6:58 PM

    Hey Kelly! As a Project We member, I’m in! I really don’t feel excited about staying up for this one (sorry – just saying it like it is!) but I KNOW I’ll never watch the replay so I may as well see it as a chance to get together with the lovely Power Posse at least! X

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on March 4, 2020 at 7:22 PM

      Great that you will stay up late for this one Louisa and look forward to seeing you there. Jane has a way of making all of this light, so it won’t be a gloomy one – we will end on an empowering note for you to have sweet dreams! 🙂 xx

      • Louisa on March 5, 2020 at 3:11 PM

        PS – Kelly, I feel I should say I’ve had a tough few weeks and so if I’m not feeling up to it, I’ll have to listen to my body and either only see the first part or even perhaps pull out (if I’m in a bad way). Hopefully not, but I just though I’d better let you know. X

        • Kelly Pietrangeli on March 5, 2020 at 5:57 PM

          Of course Louisa – I am all for listening to your body at the time. Sending you a virtual hug! xx

    • Jane Duncan Rogers on March 6, 2020 at 9:17 AM

      Louisa, I know what you mean about not feeling excited! AND about not listening to the replay – so fair play to you that you’re recognising this and coming along, and I really look forward to meeting you.

  3. Carol on March 5, 2020 at 10:50 AM

    Wills are in place but you are making me think about the important documents and bank details etc. We have various separate accounts and with various different banks, plus pensions and insurance. My husband would have no idea where to easily find the kids’ birth certificates or mine. I had never thought about my social media accounts either and subscriptions I have for various things which would need cancelling. I’m grateful you have brought all of this up. I agree it’s not a fun subject but it doesn’t have to be a doom and gloom scenario to get these things better organised. Showing this to my husband tonight so we can take some steps. I’m very interested in the workshop. So I can pay £15 and attend the workshop and then decide if I want to carry on with the subscription, or cancel later this month?

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on March 5, 2020 at 6:03 PM

      Yes Carol, it’s all of that extra stuff beyond the wills which probably won’t get done without a check-list and a time-frame to just get it done swiftly. That’s what Jane is here to help us with in this workshop. Yes, you can join for this workshop and at the same time take advantage of all else inside of Project WE and you may cancel anytime before the next payment is taken – no problem at all. I’m actually going to speak to Jane about donating any new membership fees for this month to her so she can continue her important work. Hope to see you there! 🙂

  4. Sarah Williamson on March 5, 2020 at 8:17 PM

    I’m in and ready to be in our accountability group.
    I know where our wills are but we haven’t looked at them in 10 years!
    Ready to soak up all the useful information on offer-thanks for organising Kelly!

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on March 6, 2020 at 8:36 AM

      I know you will be a great asset to our accountability group in Project WE Sarah. ❤️ xx

  5. Cara on March 6, 2020 at 2:53 PM

    I’m proud to say I have actually done this!! It was definitely a marathon–but as you said, I kept focused on, If the unthinkable happened, how could I leave my husband with that kind of mess to take care of when he was grieving and trying to care for grieving kids? That really kept me motivated. After the wills and other formal paperwork were done, I bought LastPass, filled in dozens of websites–and in the process, got all of the bills better organized (bonus!). I made a list of bills/subscriptions that would need to be canceled (my insurance, my cell phone, magazines, etc.) and a list of people to notify with contact info. I even left a funeral plan on file with my church (ask your house of worship–they likely have one you can fill out). The one thing I haven’t done yet and still might is letters to my kids. I hope and assume all of this prep will never be necessary, but it feels so good knowing it’s done.

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