Part 1: What Should I do if I know I do not have much time left?
I know… what a way to start a first article, but lets face it, if you do not have much time because of cancer for example, it is good to prepare your affairs and sort things out, why wait for the last minute when you do not have an ounce of strength left.
The first thing you have to do is, to take down my number and pass it to your family. I remembered there was once an elderly man who asked me for my calling card, he said he was getting old and liked the way I rendered my services. He said he would like to call me to provide this service when his time came. I looked at him and said, “Uncle, please do not call me when your time comes”. He looked at me puzzled and asked why not. I told him I would probably die of a heart attack if he called me to do his service. Then he realised and said, “haiya, I mean I will get my son to call you lah.”
Pick out a picture, which you would like to enlarge, as this picture will be placed in front of the casket. One tip is, not to select one that you took 50 years ago, probably your own kids will not recognise you. These days you can select any pictures as it can be scanned and enlarged but do not select a picture that has an arm or hand on your shoulder.
Next is to select the outfit you would like to be dressed in. Place the selected picture together with this outfit and inform your family about it. Next is to decide if you rather be buried or cremated, and if burial is an option you prefer, then, it would be good to choose the site and purchase it if you can. I shall, in my later article tell you the difference between a burial and cremation but if you feel time is not on your side, you can email me.
Next is to look at the legal matters. A Will is a very important item not to be missed out. Either a Will Writer or a Lawyer can do it. If a Will is done, the executor will appoint a lawyer to file for a petition for probate at the High Court to get the will executed. On the other hand if a will is not done, then a lawyer will have to file for letters of administration (LA) at the High Court to distribute the inheritance. It takes about 9 months for a probate and 1 year or so for the LA. For more information, contact your lawyer or a will writer.
Over the years, I have seen families quarrelling over where, how and what to do for the funeral and the worst thing is to dispute the family heirloom even before the person is buried. If only the wishes where made known and everything sorted out, I guess only then you will not be turning in your grave.
The next coming article would be more on how to make a report and do all the necessaries when a loved one passes away.
Felix Nair – Funeral Director
Add: 18 Jalan Azyze, 11200 Tg. Bunga, Penang
Tel: 04 899 1298 HP: 017 588 2498