ID theft and false death claims

ID theft is growing very fast all around the world, especially as so much of our personal information is now digital. We are regularly asked to produce photocopies of our ID or Passport information or it is placed on to the digital system and stored ‘in the cloud’ making it easier for hackers to access. Continue reading

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Acting as Executor

Although all of this is new information that we have learnt over the last couple of months I am putting it into a blog format rather than under the Tab of updates as it is a large amount of information on one particular subject – Executorship. Continue reading

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Reminder: Keep those certificates and papers

In October last year I posted an article entitled “Keep those certificates” on my ideas website as it was considering certificates in general. This article looks at those needed post death. In recent weeks I have discovered more and more the importance of that statement. My youngest sister died in Dec last year and my husband is her nominated Executor. Continue reading

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Can we live in a paperless world?

All those papers we accumulate to register various moments in our lives and confirming the steps we have taken on a daily basis are very important. They may be a nuisance as they take up a bit of space but if you do not have them when called for it causes a lot of problems. What papers am I talking about? Continue reading

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Funeral traditions of different cultures


 This past Sunday morning, on my way to church, I was listening to the radio. The discussion was a description of what was happening in Qunu, Eastern Cape, the childhood home and now final resting place of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. I am including his Xhosa name because it was only when he went to school that he was given the name Nelson by the teacher. All Black African children were given English names when they went to school even though the teacher may not necessarily have been English. The children were told that it was by the English name that they would be known in school. This was due to the strong British influence in South Africa and English was considered superior in every way.  Local culture and traditions were not of any import. And so it was that this great leader came to be known as Nelson Mandela. Continue reading

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Please release me, Let me go

I often wonder if declared progress in the medical field is always good.  There is no doubt that people live longer these days and much of that is due to better medical care as well as better knowledge of healthy lifestyles.  But when people have aged beyond the stage of when they are alive but not living and/or they are being kept alive by artificial means, is that really progress? Continue reading

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Of what are we afraid?

Why are we afraid of death and dying?  Are we afraid of death itself or of the dying process? For many, dying can take a very long time while for others it is instantaneous or comes quickly after a diagnosis or accident. The process of dying is not usually a pleasant one for the person who is dying or for family and friends. When one has known for months or even years that a loved one has a terminal illness, when the person dies it is still a shock and very painful. I can relate to this situation very well as my Dad had a stroke leaving him unable to speak and with minimal use of his right limbs for 7 years before he finally succumbed. My Mum suffered for 6 months before she died. In each case, even though others expected us to be prepared for these deaths, it was very painful when the final moment came. Continue reading

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Social Media and your demise

Have you any idea what happens to your social media sites when you die.  When I wrote my book, The Legal Aspects of Dying, I did not give a thought to social media sites and whether our own will continue after we have left planet earth. On page 46 of my book I do give some things to think about such as what could happen if you leave gold fillings in a deceased person’s mouth – the gold gets stolen! I also caution family and friends to ensure that the dates on all certificates etc are correct or it can turn out very expensive, especially if ICU and Death Certificate dates are not compatible. In the final chapter on making our own preparations so that it will not be a burden to our families I thought that I had included everything but then came along an article on what I forgot.

I shall write no more but direct you to where Evert Lombaerts says it best.


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Death – the pain and the practical

The awful pain of the death of a loved one has been brought much closer this past month. My cousins have had to sit by the bedside of their mother for two weeks in December and, as I write this, they are sitting at their elderly, frail father’s bedside. The pain that they are enduring is something that I can only imagine. They have to find a deep and inner strength to carry them through these next few days, weeks and months. Continue reading

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Wisdom, Wealth or Both

While in China, Annette Jahnel1 noted the accumulation of wealth by a few in a society which was not accustomed to it until fairly recently but the lack of wisdom in how it was used shocked her. It seemed as if their desire for all to see their wealth was extraordinary. When in a restaurant, for example, exorbitant amounts of food were ordered even if this resulted in massive waste. Other ways of ensuring that others knew about their newly acquired wealth was the abundance of fancy shoes and clothes, jewellery, furs and large cars. In a country where millions live in dire poverty this display of wealth was quite shocking to the system.  It struck me that here in South Africa we have a similar issue with the newly acquired wealth of those who previously were unable to accumulate such material wealth and the millions of poor. Continue reading

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