The Gift of Preparation


Losing someone can be a very emotionally charged and stressful time. This book is about helping you to make it less stressful for whoever is left behind, when that time arrives.

Teach your wife to be a widow or your husband to be a widower.

Teach your partner or close friend how to cope more effectively when you are no longer there and they have to deal with all the required documentation, legalities and bureaucracy that occurs after death.

How much easier it will be if you have shared, showed, informed and even taught someone about all that you deal with, so they are fully conversant with the what, when, where and how everything is done, for when they are left behind to deal with things without you.  Can you imagine how emotionally challenging it can be having lost someone and not knowing all their passwords, access codes, etc.

“Oh no, what do I do now?  Why didn’t we think to discuss everything while we could?”

So many times I have heard those words despairingly shared by someone who has just lost a partner, close friend or family member.

When my aunt had a stroke, lingered without being able to communicate with us, and then died suddenly, we were at a loss as to how to honor her wishes. If only Carole Sandberg had written this book sooner! We could have been proactive and known what questions to ask. Then we could have been prepared and confident about all of the millions of details that needed to be taken care of. Carole lays it all out in a well-organized, easy to read format. Her tone is conversational, as if she is sharing her wisdom with a girlfriend. Carole unfortunately speaks from experience. She has been through it all. Her misfortune is our gain, as she leads you expertly through first general considerations to help orient you, and then down to the nitty-gritty of taking care of all that is part of everyday life. Thank you Carole Sandberg!
Renee Toplansky
Managing  Director, Crossroads Consulting Group
New York, USA

The truth of the matter is when someone dies, the people left behind are suddenly thrust into the position of having to sort out all sorts of legalities and bureaucracy, when all they really want to do is sit quietly and grieve.  Too often, the bereaved are called upon to handle everything, sometimes within a timeline that is not particularly supportive of their situation; and how much more stressful it is when they are not savvy about the information required, nor know where to find it, nor the what, when and how.

In our society, more often than not, within a relationship, each partner has specific roles that they take responsibility for.  Generally speaking, the modus operandi does not include keeping the other partner up-to-date with or specifically informed about any of the details.  Our lives are filled with an enormous variety of activities and responsibilities, a lot of them simply taken for granted because one or the other in a relationship is taking care of things. But what happens when they are not there to do this?

A simple task for one, can become a nightmare for the other, when knowledge of the necessary procedures, and relevant information beforehand could make made this difficult time much easier, less emotionally charged, far less stressful, giving the bereaved a sense of being more in control… a real gift.

Whilst writing this book I talked with a variety of people of all ages, and the majority of those, both men and women, realised they had very little idea about some very important aspects of their lives, because the other person took care of them, e.g., their financial portfolio, insurance policies, what bills were paid from which account and when, even who held the registration for the car and how to use the household appliances.  Can you imagine not knowing a partner or friend’s Facebook password?  It’s not that it is impossible to sort this out, it’s just involves more potential stress that could be avoided if this information has been shared beforehand.

It doesn’t matter if you are 25 years of age or in your 60’s+.  Every single adult also needs to realise that to share their information now, whilst they can, with that close family member or friend will make everything just that much easier when the inevitable happens down the track and that someone has to finalise all your details.

Sure this is a bit macabre, however the fact is we are born and sometime later – hopefully much later, we are going to pass away, leaving behind a heap of details that need to be addressed.

Regardless of age, sex or marital status, to share all your information with someone close to you now, while you can, is a real gift of preparation for when they have to deal with everything down the track when you are no longer there.

The Gift of Preparation is filled with a lot of useful information and suggestions  – it is also a workbook for you to record all your details in the one place.

This book has the potential to make a tremendously important, positive difference to so many people.  It has the power to change the current thinking culture around this very sensitive subject,  being practical in preparing for a death.