Death, Dying and Dinner Parties
- Published: 18 September 2013
Have you had your family "death dinner" yet? Sounds morbid, but it isn't. With America's baby boomers aging, the conversation about death should happen more frequently than it does. If you already have your living will, great, Pew Research Center says you are among about 30% of Americans that do. That leaves 70% without a living will, and without much control over how a death affects the remaining family members. Want examples?
About 75% of Americans want to die at home, yet only 25% of them do. What happens if you DON'T want a medical intervention, yet you are unable to communicate at the time that it would be applied? The intervention happens.
Another Pew survey found that as many as 30 percent of Americans 65 and older don’t have a will detailing what should happen with their assets. Iillness or death can leave family members conflicted over what to do.
How many parents do you know that want their legacy to include a divided family at the end of their life? The end-of-life conversation is the most valuable conversation not taking place in America today.
Having a Death Dinner is getting a lot publicity and a lot of traction largely due to a group of master’s degree students and faculty at the University of Washington, who have started a program called “Let’s Have Dinner and Talk About Death.” It offers talking points, reading material on death, and how to word a death dinner invitation. Since starting last month, about 400 people have signed up to host dinners, the group said.
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-The Estate Planning Team
Rogers, Sheffield & Campbell, LLP