No one likes to discuss death and dying, but it's so important that your loved ones know your end-of-life wishes. Anyone who sat in El Paso County Probate Court to hear the case involving the estate of Mary Robbins, can attest to that.
Her daughter, Darlene told me Mary was in great pain before she died of cancer in early February. She knew that in 2006 it was Mary's wish to have her brain and memories cryonically preserved at Alcor Life Extension Foundation in Arizona.
But Darlene says Mary changed her mind a few days before she died. In probate court, testimony was given to demonstrate that desire. Mary signed an insurance annuity change of beneficiary form. But Mary never called Alcor, nor did she specifically write down anything about her wish to end her Alcor contract. Her family says it simply wasn't possible because of her extreme pain.
No one blames Mary nor her family. How difficult ... knowing your loved one is dying and trying to say goodbye. How morbid to consider the next step or ponder legal technicalities.
That's why it's so important to do your homework in advance. Go online. You'll find volumes of free information on the web. If you can, consult an attorney. Put your wishes in writing. It's documents which are considered relevant in a court of law.
Darlene told me she never thought this kind of public, legal battle would take place involving her mother. She never dreamed Mary's head would be packed in dry ice in a mortuary while a court decided who should be awarded her remains.
Just remember, pre-planning is vital. Putting your wishes on paper means your intentions are documented. If you do have questions, talk to an attorney... sooner rather than later.
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