Preparation for death – is this the new craze that will result in a cult or is it overkill?

Preparing for death, if you’ve never heard of it before, involves compiling complete and detailed lists of all your possessions, giving exact descriptions, quantities, types of items and, in some cases, even individual codes for your death. There are many parallels you can draw from this with that of Swedish death cleansing or Döstädning where individuals condense their possessions and organize their estate so as not to overburden their families and loved ones when they die. Preparation for death, however, seems to be a more extreme version of this Swedish practice. The creator of this movement, Nick Copeman, also named Nick Deth, in 2003 declared his Beeston Bump caravans an empire and crowned himself king of it, changing his name by deed of poll to King Nicholas I. has now generated a website to help you follow in his footsteps with a simple three step guide on how to be a death prep. But what do these steps entail?

The first step is to Declare your ‘Deth’. It means removing yourself from your previous way of life and gaining a new perspective on how to deal with your life and, therefore, your death. While the process Mr. Copeman has created for doing this is a bit extreme, by creating a “Deth” certificate for yourself and naming yourself as executor, the thought process is valid in some respects. Stepping away from your possessions and your life allows you to make objective and sometimes difficult decisions. From there we go to the second step.

After signing your own “Deth” certificate, you are then responsible for processing your estate in view of your death. This step is known as RIP – Reduce, detail and prepare. This includes compiling all of your assets, paring down your assets, breaking them down, and specifying who will receive what upon your death. While at first it was a simple and useful process, from there, Mr. Copeman’s instructions take a slightly different view. Any items you kept as a result of your decluttering should then be kept in the boxes indicated in the detailed list. These items are no longer yours, but your deceased person’s possessions and should essentially be kept in the boxes as shown. This then leads to the last step, which we believe is the most important.

The last step is Your will. This is where the process of preparing for death overlaps with those we recommend as lawyers. While his descriptions of lawyers and the process of creating a will are punctuated with colorful language, his general statements are solid. That creating a valid and up-to-date Will removes the risk of your estate being divided in a way you do not wish and hopefully avoids any conflict or hardship for your remaining loved ones. Additionally, Nick Copeman also recommends a letter of wishes. Again, although the structure and content of the sample letter of wishes, and indeed will, is not what we would present to you, the underlying ideas and reasoning are concise and to the point. Providing your family and friends with a clear and thoughtful summary of your wishes upon your death, detailing what happens to your personal items as well as arrangements for your funeral, can help bring comfort and comfort to your loved ones when comes the time to make such decisions.

In conclusion, although at Boyes Turner we don’t believe in going to such extremes as outlined in Steps 1 and 2, there are key characteristics that we believe are valid for everyone. That of keeping a Will and a Letter of Wishes up to date, a list of assets in a secure place as well as passwords and access to your precedence online. Beyond this, we also encourage our clients to consider having a power of attorney in place so that the transition upon your death can hopefully be as seamless as possible, with your loved ones already having an understanding of your assets in order to better able to process the probate of your estate.

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