Dianah Mieglich

As we head towards 2050 and beyond, our society will be faced with many challenges.

Climate change, food security, equality, justice, health and welfare challenges are but a few. Here I share my thoughts and observations about many current and continuing issues. I would be pleased to receive your feedback and I invite you to join me in the conversations.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Archives
    Archives Contains a list of blog posts that were created previously.
  • Login
    Login Login form

Yellow Roses - My thoughts on Estate Planning

Posted by on
  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • Hits: 2690
  • 1 Comment
  • Subscribe to this entry
  • Print

My choice is roses. Yellow roses; many beautiful yellow roses, some in bud and some in full bloom; but all cast adrift on the sea by family and friends.

The timing is uncertain and so it should be; but the place is definite.  This celebration and commemoration must take place in my sanctuary and it must be at sunset.  I am writing about my explicit wishes for a farewell upon my death.

Do you have a valid Will?  If you do, when was it last updated?  Does it reflect your wishes and does your family know and understand and will they respect those wishes?

This subject may be confronting for some but it need not be.  I’ve recently made the time to update a suite of important legal documents because my personal circumstances have changed.

I’ve updated my Will, my Enduring Power of Attorney and an Advance Care Directive.   There is another document I have completed and I will come to that.

Whilst this subject is very personal, I don’t have any reservations in sharing my thoughts.  Perhaps it’s because I am more comfortable and confident in my choices and decisions than I have ever been because I accept, with pragmatism, that from the day we are born we are on a trajectory towards death. 

In the contest of life I have chosen to be proactive in so many ways.  It is cathartic on a spiritual and emotional level but it also makes sense on a practical level.

So what have I done? First and foremost I have sought and gained the trust of people I love and respect.  I’ve entrusted special people in my life with a very important responsibility.  I have asked them to act confidently on my behalf, in the event that I cannot.  I have legally appointed those chosen to act for me through the mechanism of an Enduring Power of Attorney.  I have also asked them to execute my Will following my death.  Importantly, they have accepted this responsibility without reservation.

I have also updated an existing advance care directive.  This has enabled me to determine what I want to happen in relation to certain personal areas of my life.  This relates to my health care, residential and accommodation arrangements, and other personal affairs. 

In South Australia from 1 July 2014 the Advance Care Directives Act 2013 (SA) came into operation. This allows a person to:

  • set out values and wishes to guide decisions about their future healthcare and other personal matters
  • set out what, if any, particular healthcare they refuse and in what circumstances and
  • appoint one or more substitute decision-makers.

More here: http://www.lawhandbook.sa.gov.au/ch02s02.php

In terms of my Will - my instructions are also explicit.  In South Australia, it is important to note that if you die without a valid and up to date Will or without a Will altogether then you will have died 'intestate'.  This means that South Australian laws will determine how your estate will be distributed.

Just a few examples of what might happen are:


  • Any real estate you own may be sold instead of being left to a loved one.

  • Special personal items, such medals of service may not be given to the family member of your choice.

  • Your grandchildren may not receive the benefits of your estate.

     

    The ‘other document’ I referenced and what I consider being the most delicate and personal decision I have made is that I have decided to be a body donor.

    Put simply, in the event of my death and if my remains are deemed to be acceptable for donation, I have chosen to donate my body to the Adelaide Medical School Body Donation Program.

    My reasons are many and each carefully considered.  This is not a decision I have taken lightly but it is my decision nonetheless. Importantly I have made this choice known to my family and they accept it (at least they are telling me that now).

    In reviewing the information provided to me by the University of Adelaide, School of Medicine I read, “Donating your body to science is one of the greatest gifts one can give to make a lasting contribution to the education and training of our current & future health professionals and to advance science through research.”  I am pragmatic, I am a free-thinker and I agree.

    More here: https://health.adelaide.edu.au/medicine/facilities/body-donation/

    A recent conversation I listened to between Richard Fidler and Dr Walter Wood also informed my decision and I truly believe it is the right one.  If you are interested you can listen here: http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2016/04/14/4443060.htm

    So, if you care about your death as much as you do your life; and you feel strongly about your wishes being respected and honoured, then plan now and let your wishes be known.  Make your wishes legal.  There are many law firms and legal practitioners well placed to provide sound and cost effective advice.  The cost to your family may be far greater if no plans are in place.

    This blog does not constitute advice but rather I am sharing my personal opinion about the importance of estate planning.  I hope these words spark a conversation with your family or loved ones and that you consider seeking professional legal advice for your own peace of mind and that of your family.

    In closing, if you have a preference to be cremated rather than buried or for a Beethoven, Mahler, Rachmaninov or Sibelius symphony to be played at your funeral service make that known too.  Your loved ones may just choose for you and my guess is that it may not reflect your very personal preference.

    For me it is roses...lots of yellow roses....and for my cremated remains to be returned to nature and the sea with a beautiful symphony upon the ether, at sunset; and in my sanctuary.


Last modified on
A proud South Australian, Dianah is family and community focused. She has a strong work ethic and commits fully to any role she undertakes – whether it is in a paid or voluntary capacity.
Dianah is an excellent communicator, an empathetic listener and is known for her ability to grasp a sense of the ‘bigger picture’ in her work, family and community life.

With 30 years of grassroots public and community service under her belt Dianah is ready to take her passion for her community as far as she can. Following an unsuccessful Senate bid in 2013 Dianah is now focussing on the future and continued advocacy for her regional community.
Dianah spent four-and-a-half years (2009 - 2013) as Assistant to Independent Member for Frome Geoff Brock MP. This has inspired and motivated her to continue in public service in a voluntary capacity. Among other employment, Dianah has worked for Centrelink, Social Security and Regional Development Australia Yorke & Mid North and is passionate about volunteering. Her children are third generation CFS Cadets. Dianah is currently self employed.

Embracing change, Dianah is an ardent advocate for regional communities, a proud Republican and a staunch supporter of legalising Medical Cannabis and Industrial Hemp. Dianah is also a keen supporter of the State's seafood industry and all facets of primary production.
Dianah's mantra is "Without our environment we have no economy." Dianah believes securing our food and water into the future is not something we should hope for but rather something we should strive for.
Dianah shares a global view.

Comments

  • Guest
    Mal Wilkinson Monday, 05 December 2016

    Great post on a difficult subject. In reference to your decision to donate your body I'd like to share my experience. My mother had arranged to do this many years before her death, and as her health declined we confirmed with the university that the arrangements stood. However upon notifying them of her death we were told they "had enough bodies and didn't need her" We were then left to organise and pay for a funeral that my mother had left no money for, and we had no idea what she would have wanted as all she had only ever wanted to donate her body to help others. So please be aware your donation can be refused at the worst time possible; and have a backup plan that your family is aware of . You could save them the distress and financial strain we went through.

Leave your comment

Guest Friday, 14 December 2018

Blog Archive