"Prepare the umbrella before it rains."

- Malay Proverb

While it may be a good euphemism to be told “to get your affairs in order”, most people don’t necessarily understand what this entails. In short it means that there are essential  things to do before and after dying.

Getting this done requires professional help, crystal clear communication and a sense of doing something positive rather than negative.

When someone dies it leaves chaos. Getting things right now will protect those left behind from being disadvantaged and save hours of time and distress. We owe it to each other to have our affairs in order.


When it comes to dying there are many practical things to consider such as: the combination to the safe, the care of pets, the spare keys to the house, disposing of firearms, changing the ownership of accounts. These are but a few of many things to consider before dying.

Legal Matters

When you cannot communicate a tight legal document, expressing your views, is essential. Usually, these are testaments and wills, Power of attorney and other matters your lawyer may consider. Whatever you do, don’t do Legal DIY because it won’t survive when the vultures come. Money spent on good legal advice turns out to be cheap in comparison to drawn-out court cases when someone contests a will.

Financial Matters

Even though you cannot take it with you when you die, you do want to ensure that your assets are protected. Financial advice about estate planning is essential. Why pay unnecessary tax and fees if you can avoid it. Seek professional help to ensure your assets are safe.


Stay in control even when you are not. When health is fading, medical care will increase and your wishes about this care are important.

Important things to consider are advanced directives, resuscitation instructions, and most importantly to explore the benefits of palliative care. Be informed.

Funerals and Cremations

Most people think of funerals or cremations negatively. They are not bad, they are simply events and play an essential function in society. They respect the life lived, deal with grief and most importantly dispose of the deceased body. Every funeral or cremation has some drama associated with it, but it can get a lot worse if it is not planned.

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