As Benjamin Franklin once said, “in this world, nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes”. So it is best to be prepared. U3A will hold a practical session for U3A members on preparing paperwork for death. The session will be held on Thursday August 25, from 1.30 pm to 3:00 pm in the Court Room, 13 Camp St, Daylesford.

The session will be run by Mary-Faeth Chenery. Mary-Faeth started doing these end-of-life paperwork sessions to help her get going on her own paperwork. She thought it would be easier and ‘fun’ so to speak if she did it with friends around the table with a cuppa.

At the end of life, when someone dies there are a lot of details that would be helpful for those dealing with the death to know about. Simple things, like who would you like to be informed when you die, and harder things, like how do you want your body to be treated after death (cremation? burial? funeral? wake?) or what was your mother’s occupation (information requested by the death certificate application).

Then there’s the matter of when someone becomes unable to speak for themselves, whether through an illness, such as dementia, or an accident. It’s good to make your wishes known about such a situation. For example, are there some medical treatments that you do not want?

That’s where Advance Care Planning can help and designating a Medical Treatment Decision Maker is important.

The ‘Doing the Dying Paperwork’ session will provide a simple list of ten items that are worth getting ready – some you might finish off with your lawyer or GP, but all of them are things you can get started on now. Some may already have been done or have partly done, and some may need to be updated if your circumstances have changed.

The list is this:

  • your will;
  • a medical treatment decision-maker;
  • an Advance Care Directive to guide your doctors and your medical decision-maker;
  • an Enduring Power of Attorney for someone to handle your affairs if you can’t;
  • your after-death arrangements; who to notify (personal and professional);
  • information for the death certificate;
  • a list of ‘where is everything and what to do with it’;
  • taking care of animals and other special instructions; and
  • other details, such as what to put in an obituary or some information about family history.

The workshop is open to the public but registrations are essential because space is limited. To register, send email to Entry is free for U3A members. A $2 donation is requested from non-members.