If you use email, you have probably received some emails from accounts that have been hacked. You know how it goes, you see a familiar email address, you click on it thinking you will hear from an old friend, only to find that someone has hacked into that address and is sending ads for things you don’t want or links to people you have no intention of meeting. It is almost impossible to stop these intrusive emails without limiting access from people you know, but such is the world of technology today. I figured it was just another small annoyance until I received an email with the name of a friend who had recently died. I realized that someone had ripped off the address, but more importantly, no one in her family had canceled her email account.
This reminded me that there are so many little details that need to be taken care of when a loved one dies. Are there monthly withdrawals for a health club that keep on going if the survivors don’t know about them? Is there a social network page that should be discontinued? Is there personal information still on the computer that can be accessed by people who are up to no good?
While grieving for a lost family member or friend, it is difficult to confront such issues. But not doing anything about them can lead to expensive and painful situations. Luckily, a new book has simple and easy advice on how to deal with the details of death. Called “When Someone Dies,” the book by Sonoma resident Scott Smith, will be of great use at a difficult time in your life.
As Smith says, “If you’re reading this book, someone you love has just died. We feel your pain. As you’ll read, I recently lost a loved one, and I’ve endured the grief that now consumes you. My heart breaks for you. But this is not a book about grief or grieving. Instead, this is a succinct, step-by-step guide to all the practical things you must do after someone dies to settle the person’s affairs as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.”
Smith’s book is comprehensive, from how to pick a funeral home to how to deactivate that Facebook account, and how to write the obituary. He reminds us to hire a house sitter on the day of the funeral or memorial service as thieves are aware that the house will be empty. He tells you how many copies of the death certificate to order. (at least 25) He even provides resources for support groups if your loved one committed suicide.
This is a thorough look at something we will all have to deal with. In other words, Be Prepared.