A new friend that I met at a recent workshop had a wonderful idea. “To ensure harmonic, loving relationships with recipients of your possessions upon your death, one suggestion is: I went through the entire home and listed every item that means anything to me, and the significance. I then put that in e-mail form to my three adult children and told them to list the non-negotiable items by highlighting and list the ones they would be interested in receiving. The e-mail went back and foth three times, with me watching the negotiation, and also feeling sad and very relieved knowing the items would be wanted and loved as i have loved them. It has also been suggested that you take digital photos of items and put the disc in the safe deposit box for when the death occurs, but also for fire and theft to insure the goods are put in the right pair of hands and homes. I then had them sign a letter saying they had agreed and it is in my copy of my will.” I feel this will eliminate the potential for alot of quarreling had you decided for them what they will get. Sweet, simple, and considerate. GREAT IDEA. Thank you for your contribution

Dear Friends:

Just as a reminder, the information contained in the workbook is not to be considered as legal advice. They are guidelines. Each situation is unique and should be discussed with your personal attorney. For example, information and forms contained herein may be helpful to some situations, but not all. Always consult with an attorney or certified financial planner before making decisions that will affect your financial situation or when planning to transfer title to real estate. Consult with your banker too regarding your bank accounts. Thank you. With love, care, and concern…My best regards…Charlotte

June, 2008 Supplement for Workbook

Dear Friends.

As you may recall, when you purchase the workbook and register with me, you will get new or updated information that I’ve received and pass along to you. Accordingly, here is my second supplement with additional information that I hope you find useful. This too will be absorbed in the next printing of and then there was one.

  • Some workshop attendees have wanted me to address ‘Do I need the workbook if I am all alone and/or what do I do if there is no one to leave my estate to.’

My answer to this is, no matter if you are alone, or have a huge family, there is always someone that will have to tie up your loose ends. Even though there are no relatives or close friends of yours remaining, there is still much to do after you die, and someone will have to do it–whether it be the state or perhaps an acquaintance you decide to appoint. If you have no one to give your estate to, then I could suggest you give it to your favorite charity. In any event, completing the workbook will be helpful to them.

  • Taxes are higher when you become single so be prepared.

  • Estate Planning expenses are tax deductible. ( I.R.C. §67,68, 212 (2)). This is the formula:

—Total Estate Planning Expenses you were charged: $________________

—65% of this amount is $______________ (deductible amount for your taxes).

Of course, your estate-planning attorney should know this, but after having attended many workshops on estate planning and never hearing of this, thought I’d pass this along.

  • Identity theft. The police department and the post office frequently come out with new information—new schemes that are being used. Check back with them regularly to help protect yourself. They have a ton of informational brochures and flyers.

  • Computer information: Any of us that have the luxury of having a personal computer will also want to consider how our survivors will access the information we have on them. I went to Wal-Mart and purchased cork tiles to secure to the inside of my computer cabinet. On this I stick-pinned a typed sheet with entities I’ve done business with over the Internet. My children can then access these companies and close any open accounts. If you feel you need more security, write the information in a little notebook and keep it in your fireproof safe…or somewhere survivors have easy access. Additionally, I will instruct my survivors to not tell these entities I’ve died–Just to close the accounts or memberships. As you know, we need to be very careful about identity theft even AFTER we die. This would increase the stress of our survivors ten-fold.

  • Emergency access to your home. Many live alone. If you have a personal computer, go to:, or call 1.866.625.4563 This company works with many local fire departments. Call your fire department and ask about a lock box with a code for emergency access to your home. This service is not free, but I’ve been told some organizations will offer this free of charge to qualifying individuals. Your local fire department should be able to direct you to sources.

And…speaking of emergencies: I consulted with an EMT at our fire department. I’ve enclosed as my gift to you an Emergency Information form that should be kept in a very visible place for when/if an emergency arises. He told me that one thing that is very helpful on a form is the weight of the person listed on it. Otherwise, they have to guess at the amount of emergency drugs that may have to be administered. He also said to list a Specialist. Most have the Primary Care Physician, but they don’t list a specialist. He also said to keep your information current. They only need the most ‘recent history’ on there. Another suggestion is to keep two copies accessible, so one could be given to the emergency medical personnel as they fly out the door. I would suggest making several copies of this form and keeping it handy. The lovely man that I spoke with said he knows people that keep a copy in their wallet, in their vehicle’s glove box, and anywhere else they could think of. If necessary, write on the back of it to give additional information. Keep in mind, these kind people don’t know you, and during an emergency there may be a tad bit of hysteria going on. Make several copies of this form before filling it out so it’s easier to keep it current. This is coming on plain white paper, so you could copy it onto a colored paper of your choosing if you wish. I personally will keep it white, and use a highlighter, then stuff it into a plastic sheet protector to keep it clean. One could also laminate it. If you have a condition that you don’t want any emergency personnel to miss, wear a bracelet. It may also be wise to keep a copy of this on your visor in your vehicle.  A workshop attendee suggested this, and we all agree it’s a GREAT idea.

Some information from a beautiful new friend – Nadine Smith. I met her in March, and the following will also be absorbed in the next printing of the workbook.

She wrote how important it is to have an Ethical Will. Write a personal legacy that transmits the non-material assets: Your values, your story, and lessons life has taught you. Answer questions such as:

—What has given your life meaning?

—What has been the guiding principle of your life?

—What have you learned in all your years of living that you’d like your

descendants to know?

Nadine also included a quote from Susan Turnbull… “What you have learned is as valuable as what you have earned.” If you are a Baby Boomer or older, you will appreciate that sentence.

I will add, that it may also be a beautiful thing if we write letters to our loved ones to be opened after we die. Be loving, forgiving, and understanding. Recall the fun things you remember about them. This is a beautiful gift to hand down.

  • I recently had an inquiry as to the suitability of the workbook for persons living in states other than Arizona. Many out-of-state residents have purchased the book, and to date, I’ve had no one say that it wasn’t helpful. In addition, the Uniform Probate Code in effect since 1974 applies to all 50 states. So if you have friends, or relatives that you wish to purchase the workbook for, be comforted knowing it will be useful for them.

On a personal note, I wish to add that it may be nice for the ‘handyman’ of the household to write a manual of sorts of how to run the physical portion of your home. You’d be surprised how little some of us know about the mechanics of a house—or the remote control for the television J Some ideas…Main water shut-off valve to the house, and separate indoor plumbing areas, (bathrooms & kitchens); Circuit breaker box; Gas shut-off valve; drip irrigation system; lighting the BBQ; running the Jacuzzi; and other things around the home that you know of that may be intimidating to your companion.

That’s it for this supplement. Please contact me with experiences you may have had that may not be covered in the workbook. Together we can work to make the transition easier for our loved ones. Also, my son-in-law designed a website for me. Please visit it and comment on anything that may need to be added. Remember, together we will work to make this workbook the best it can be. We need each other. Thank you.

Well wishes to you all. Be kind to one another.


A person who has food has many problems.

A person who has no food has only one problem.

Chinese proverb