The Final Gift Course

I wanted to share with you some information about a workshop called The Final Gift.  The parish nurse at my Church has organized several of these workshops after she attended one in a nearby community.  The Final Gift is intended to be your final gift to your family. Death is a very hard topic for most to deal with let alone making plans for your own death.  The workshop is presented in such a helpful, informative manner, it is easy to walk away understanding why planning is so important.

Unfortunately, I still have clients that come into my office for estate planning and say “I’m gone, what do I care.”  When you can take a few steps now during lifetime that can help your surviving family/friends with your death, why wouldn’t you?!  It will save your survivors time and money. I often find children who tell me when their parent first brought the topic up, they were appalled and didn’t want to discuss.  However, after Mom/Dad had passed away, they commented on what a loving and thoughtful thing their parent did for them.

The Final Gift workshop covers information related to planning for end of life.  The workshop topics include:

  • Legal considerations including a power of attorney, health care directive and a Will/Trust;
  • Funeral options from a funeral directors perspective including care of the body, choices on types of burial, services provided by the funeral home;
  • Pastoral and funeral coordinator perspectives for end of life and funeral planning;
  • Advanced directives including the process for developing, how to implement, challenges in real life; and
  • End of life care including care options-respite, hospice, support systems needed for home.

Some interesting statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control:

  • Most people say they would prefer to die at home, yet only about one-third of adults have an advance directive expressing their wishes for end-of-life care.   Among those 60 and older, that number rises to about half of older adults completing a directive.
  • Only 28 percent of home health care patients, 65 percent of nursing home residents and 88 percent of hospice care patients have an advance directive on record.
  • Even among severely or terminally ill patients, fewer than 50 percent had an advance directive in their medical record.
  • Between 65 and 76 percent of physicians whose patients had an advance directive were not aware that it existed.

As part of the workshop you will receive a booklet that you can complete for the above topics.  You are able to help share your wishes with your family through this booklet and the documents that are discussed in the workshop.  Consider the Final Gift workshop as way to give a final gift to your family.

Please send me an email at with any topic suggestions or requests you may have.  Although we cannot give you legal advice through the column, we can provide some general information that may be helpful for you to know.  Our purpose is to educate and we hope that you can take something new away from this column each time you read it.