04 Mar Are you good to go? Amy Pickard wants to help you prepare for your demise
Meet Amy Pickard. This friendly, upbeat woman wants you to figure out who gets your belongings when you die, decide who is going to make decisions for you should you become incapacitated, and spell out exactly what you want done with your remains.
Sounds like fun? She also wants you to answer these questions at a party you host, where you gather your closest friends and families, so she can make them answer these important questions, too. (Guests bring cocktails and the favorite dish of a deceased relative.)
Everyone over the age of 18-rich or poor, married or single, landed gentry or not-should have, at the least, Amy says, a living will. Ostrich-like denial over the need for these instructions is pointless, as is the misperception that because you are a relative you will be able to make important decisions and take possession of your deceased loved one’s stuff when they pass away. Losing her closest family members is what clued Amy herself into the importance of having these documents.
I wished, as we sat in her colorful apartment earlier this week, that I’d known Amy a year ago so I could have hosted one of the parties where she comes armed with what we all need to be, as she calls it, “good to go.” That might have come in handy for a dear friend who became gravely ill at the ridiculously untimely age of 62. Because he did not leave any paperwork, there was much consternation among his enormous circle of adoring friends about a long list of unknowns: What was to happen to his personal possessions-his vast library of assets as a filmmaker; his formidable collection of cameras and video equipment; his cars; the studio apartment he owned in NY? What was to become of his rented apartment in Los Angeles? How was his father, an elderly man who suffered dementia, to be informed?
Like many people, my friend believed that there was no time like tomorrow for deciding who’ll make and implement these difficult decisions. Amy Pickard wants you to avoid that fate. If you have always said you want there to be a big party after you die, write it down. But first, listen to our conversation about how it all works.