Everything listed under: End-of-life

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    When Families Keep the Truth From Their Dying Loved Ones

    By Larry Patten for Next Avenue(This is a personal essay by retired pastor Larry Patten, who now works in a Fresno, Calif., hospice facility.)Answering the innocent question of what I do for a living can kill a conversation.I work in hospice services, and have visited people in their homes, hospitals and skilled nursing facilities when they have months or weeks to live.Even our patients and families want to avoid talking about my job. Often enough, a hospice staff member is asked to not wear his...  Read More...

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    A Daunting Task: Cleaning Out a Late Loved One’s Home

    By Randi Mazzella for Next AvenueAfter a parent or another loved one dies, one of the hardest tasks is cleaning out their home. Whether or not it’s the home you grew up in, the house or apartment will likely hold some memories and going through the contents can be emotionally draining.John D. Moore, a licensed psychotherapist in Chicago and editor of Guy Counseling, says, “In many cases, the child (or children) of the deceased aren’t properly prepared for the torrent of emotion...  Read More...

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    The Risks of a Handwritten Will

    By Jason Largey for Next AvenueWhen the “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin died last August, it was believed that she hadn’t prepared any kind of estate plan, including a last will and testament. But now, nine months after her death, three handwritten wills have been found in her home near Detroit; two were in a locked closet and one was stuffed beneath the cushions of a sofa! But are handwritten wills valid?It’s complicated.In Franklin’s case, it’s potentially g...  Read More...

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    Best Ways to Manage Life Insurance Proceeds After a Spouse Dies

    By Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell for Next AvenueI handled all the household finances and bills throughout my 32-year-marriage to my husband, Dale. But when he suddenly died of a massive heart attack at 57 last year, I was so traumatized by the loss, I couldn’t think clearly about managing his life insurance proceeds. In an instant, I had more cash rolling in from it than either of our incomes had ever produced.Luckily, I have a family member who’s a finance expert.   Read More...

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    ‘Living Memorials’ Allow Tributes Before Loved Ones Die

    By Bill Ward for Next AvenueLinda Singer has had ovarian cancer for nine years. In recent months, her health has worsened significantly. Rather than dwelling on looming death and planning a traditional funeral service, the Atlanta woman chose the opposite course: a celebration of life.So, on Jan.   Read More...