Jay Lake (jaylake) wrote,
Jay Lake

[cancer] The to do list of the ill and dying

Yesterday over lunch, Lisa Costello and I spent some time going over to-dos for me as I grow more ill and transition into the dying process. Then we met Team E. for dinner at the excellent Al-Amir Lebanese restaurant in SW Portland, where we went over this again in greater detail. Even if I get an unexpected reprieve next week, these issues will apply soon enough.

I divided the process into a number of event-based stages. These can't really be date-based, because we won't know until we get there when certain things happen. These stages are:
  • Now

  • Terminal Diagnosis

  • Leaving Work for Disability

  • Reaching the Point of Cognitive Incompetence

  • Hospice / Palliative Care

  • Death

These are in rough chronological order, though there may be overlap between various stages. Within each, I've listed all the things the four of us could think of that need to be dealt with, and who will do the dealing with. (Slightly redacted for privacy and business confidentiality.) The line items aren't in any particular order at the moment, though they may acquire ordering in my tracking spreadsheet as this all progresses. Some of the line items are obvious and self-explanatory, others could unpack into entire blog posts of their own. For now, this is what I have.

This is a sobering and depressing process. But being prepared now will make the later stages of my death much, much easier on everyone involved, at least from a logistical perspective. By then we should be focused on emotions and relationships, not how the heck the gas bill is going to be paid.

Transfer utilities into Mother of the Child's nameJay
Transfer/confirm car titles into Mother of the Child's nameJay, Mother of the Child
Discuss transition to literary trust with attorney - PO Box, phone, bank account etc.Jay, Dad, attorney, John P.
Put Lisa on writing account, PO Box, other paperwork TBD(?)Jay, Lisa
Confirm with attorney how mortgage and house title are handled post-mortem with Mother of the Child, seek additional paperwork as requiredJay, Mother of the Child, attorney, Dad
Make written plans for future transition steps, especially with regard to treatment decisions in mid- to late-stage declineJay
See accountant re tax planning for FY 2013 and (if required) FY 2014Jay, Dad, Mother of the Child (?)
Define memorial gifts desiredJay
Letters and videos for [info]the_child, video for memorialJay, Donnie
House inventory - who gets what, consult familyJay, Lisa, others
Basement clean-and-purgeJay, Lisa, others
Investigate COBRA and post-mortem health insurance options for Mother of the Child and [info]the_childDad
Revisit question of my two disability policies, presumably with disability lawyerJay, Dad
Title AuditJay, Dad
Post-mortem humorJay

Terminal Diagnosis
Plan and execute premortem wakeJay, Team E., Lisa
Finalize writing projects, collaborators, et ceteraJay, John P.
Discussions with [info]the_child?Jay, Mother of the Child, Lisa
Arrange cadaver donation to medical schoolJay
Plan memorial ceremony, including musicJay, Mother of the Child, Lisa
Arrange family therapy and grief counselingJay, Mother of the Child
Post mortem financial planningJay, Mother of the Child, Dad
Arrange support group for Jay, possibly for [info]the_child, possibly for caregivers and familyJay, others

Leaving Work for Disability
Pay off all debts except mortgage using insurance loanJay, Dad
Shop for new, competitive high speed Internet service, place in Mother of the Child's nameJay, Dad
Transition cellular account (specifically my number) from Day Jobbe to my accountJay, Dad
Determine how cellular account will be handled post-mortemJay, Dad
Benefits transfer at workJay, Dad
Arrange for life insurance loan at bankJay, Mother of the Child, Dad
Arrange minor home repairs using insurance loanJay, Team E.
Transfer air milesJay

Reaching the Point of Cognitive Incompetence
Take me off car insurance, make sure billing is in Mother of the Child's name to ease post-mortem transitionMother of the Child, Dad
Confirm treatment decisionsMother of the Child, Lisa, Dad
Transition to literary trustDad, John P.
Are there powers of attorney to be executed? My attorney is very cagey about thisattorney, Dad
[info]tillyjane to move into my house[info]tillyjane

Hospice / Palliative Care
Execute plan for death at home vs. hospice or hospital facilityJay, primary care physician

Life insurance payoutsDad, Mother of the Child
Pay off mortgageDad, Mother of the Child
Memorial gifts (from Mother of the Child and the estate rather than directly from me)Dad, Mother of the Child
Execute willDad, Mother of the Child
Finalize Jay's affaris with health insurance and hospitalDad, Mother of the Child
Transition Mother of the Child and [info]the_child to something other than COBRADad, Mother of the Child
Apply to Social Security for survivor benefits for Mother of the Child and [info]the_childDad, Mother of the Child
[info]tillyjane to remain at my house for transitional period[info]tillyjane

As always, suggestions and comments are invited. Also as always, permission to republish with attribution is granted.

Tags: cancer, child, family, friends, health, personal, radiantlisa

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