Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Communicating Your Life Choices & Wishes

A professional colleague of mine, Barbara Passarelli, and her husband Jeff have created a great way to consolidate important information about your life in one place. Barbara is the person I point to in my legacy talks as the best example I've ever known of someone who has "done it all" in preparing herself and her family for both living well and dying well.

They call their new product It’s My Life KIT , “an owner’s manual for your life.” It helps adults organize important life documents and communicate choices and wishes so that trusted people can act on your behalf if you are unable to do so.

KIT stands for "Keep in Touch." The KIT has themed sections with simple checklists: Life History, Legal & Financial, Daily Living, Health Care, and Ethical & Spiritual, which family members and friends can prepare, getting to know each other better in the process. It gives you an opportunity to:

• Write a letter about your life to your loved ones

• Create a personal life history and family tree

• Help your loved ones locate important items

• Make plans for pet care and driving, and for someone to go with you to medical visits/hospital stays

• Prepare an Advance Directive, which allows you to express your wishes for health care

• Review a sample Durable Power of Attorney, which allows someone to act on your behalf in a legal or business matter

• Explain your end-of-life preparation, state personal choices for your care and your memorial

• Create an ethical will, which shares your values, beliefs, stories, joys, and dreams with future

• Put your will/trust, other documents, and some important photos in one place

You will then be able to say with confidence, “... and now you know.”

I contributed my personal legacy letter and ethical will information to the KIT and hope that many people will use them as a guide for completing the documents and will share them with their families.

The KIT retails for $60. Please visit www.itsmylifeKIT.com, email info@itsmylifekit.com, or call Jeff and Barbara at 541.636.3886.

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