End-of-life Planning

Marketing Beyond the Grave

When my father passed away last year and we shut down his apartment, I submitted a forwarding order to the post office so that mail coming to anyone named Lowenheim at that address would be forwarded to me. I’ve since learned that the Postal Service makes about $8 million a year licensing its change of address data. Not only am I getting marketing solicitations for my father, I am also receiving junk mail for my mother, who passed away 4 1/2 years…

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My Parents’ Legacy

After my father passed away at the end of January, my sister and I took two months to clear out our family apartment (as I described in Home is Where the Heart Is). Although most of our parents’ possessions were sold, donated, or discarded, I brought home a bag of things that I just didn’t feel right about throwing away. These things were not valuable or even of great sentimental value. They were simply items that my parents had held on to for many…

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Reducing Your Digital Footprint

Last time, I wrote about planning for your digital afterlife.  Now I’d like to share what I experienced when I decided to reduce my digital footprint by closing some of the hundreds of on-line accounts that I’ve set up over the years. I much prefer shopping on-line to shopping in person.  In the time it takes me just to travel to a store, I could already have located on-line the exact item I want and purchased it.  As a result, I…

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Your Digital Afterlife

One of the most eye-opening sessions that I attended earlier this year at the annual conference of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) was entitled “Creating a Will for your Virtual Life”.   Heather Ahern, a Massachusetts-based Professional Organizer, said that you should create a digital estate plan to ensure the appropriate disposition of your digital assets, just as you would do with your tangible assets. Since attending that session, I’ve come across a number of articles — in AARP…

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Planning Your Afterlife

I consider it a wake-up call.   The sudden decline and death of my sweet little dog in a 24-hour period underscored for me that any one of us can be gone before we know what hit us.  Once again, the organizer in me kicked in. My husband and I actually began discussing our final wishes 2 1/2 years ago, when we found ourselves unexpectedly responsible for the end-of-life decisions for a friend.   (This led to a frank conversation with my parents, which…

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