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Dying With Grace

Think about your death while healthy so you don't carry the burden of making hard decisions when you are not.

Photo of C. Christy
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Who is your idea designed for and how does it reimagine the end-of-life experience?

The minute a person has to designate a beneficiary on a work plan-this is for them. The minute a person buys property-this is for them. The minute a person has a child-this is for them. The minute a person gets married-this is for them. The minute a person loses their parents and is not legally married- this is for them. The minute we change our physical presence in this world we need to think about how this effects the 'surroundings' of our death. Start the conversation with all.

Where and when does the conversation about death start?  When a person/couple buys their first home does the real estate agent initiate the conversation about Wills and Living Trusts?  When two people marry does the officiator of the ceremony ask the couple about end of life desires and if they have a Will?  When a person/couple has a child does the medical professional ask about the well being of the child if something were to happen to them before he/she reaches adulthood?  In 2014 Forbes published a statistic that 51% of Americans between 55-64 didn't have a Will.  In 2014 our population was 318.9 million.  If this was a disease it would be considered epidemic.  As a society we have done a really good job at ignoring the prep work for our death because we don't want to talk or think about it.  Almost no one at any stage in our lives talks about what happens when we die.  And, therefore, those surviving a loved one's death can be left with a burden of paperwork, debt, questions, legal issues, anger and sadness.  If we can get people to start thinking about Dying With Grace the number of Americans with Wills (and other estate planning documents) should go up and those nearing the end could go out on their terms as 'they would like' because it was discussed and documented well in advance.

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

I have been on this soapbox with my friends for a while. Many are in their 40s-50s with property and without a Will, real estate trust or medical directives. Once aware that they need to put documents in place they still don't do it. Knowing this and the stat from the Forbes article, I would pick a religious, medical or real estate community and ask that they inform their clients how to protect themselves, their children or their property. First, a survey to find out what holds people back.

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

I am a community builder and an extrovert. Therefore, if I am going to get off my one man show soap box where I am only preaching to friends, I will need the thoughts, energy, education, resources and admin skills of many to start the momentum.

Tell us about your work experience:

I have three careers and many jobs within them. I worked in Operational Management for Hyatt Hotels. I then moved into a technology start up. I currently am an outside sales rep for an interior finish company.

This idea emerged from

  • An Individual


Join the conversation:

Photo of OpenIDEO

Hi there, interesting post! Any chance you could find an image to go along with it? Images help grab attention and tell a story. You should be able to use the Edit Contribution button on the top of your post and follow the instructions to add images from there. Looking forward to seeing more of your inspiring insights on OpenIDEO.

Photo of C. Christy

Hi Ideo.  Thanks for reading and the suggestion.  I just posted an image.  What do you think?

Photo of Shane Zhao

Thanks for adding an image C. Christy! Looks great. Have your checked out these two ideas? LegalBliss and A centralized database for Living Wills It'll be interesting to exchange some insights with these two like-minded ideas.

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