Many Americans view death as taboo or an uncomfortable topic to discuss. So, when someone passes away, their loved ones find themselves in a difficult situation, unprepared or unable to find the necessary documents and papers. A recent study has found that only 50% of adults have written and certified their will. Melanie Cullen, author of Get It Together, says that it is essential to organize everything in your life, as well as what will be needed after your death, to ensure that your family knows how to handle the situation.

Karen Lee Cline, co-author of If I Croak: The Things You Should Know, comments that the process surrounding death fifty years ago was much easier than it is today because so much of our lives are online and navigating through all that information often becomes overwhelming. To make this process easier, Cullen and Cline outline in each of their books how to deal with a death in the family. Cullen says that she wishes she had a book like hers to help guide her when she lost her mother. Even though many family members intended to help her, she was ultimately confused on how she should proceed.  

How can we encourage our loved ones to consider preparing for death? Cline talks about using humor to help you address the issue, and also advises that you can lead by example;  prepare your last will and testament and offer to help others. Cullen adds that even though talking about death may be tough, getting organized and knowing that you’ve prepared your family actually liberates you.


  • Melanie Cullen, author, Get It Together

  • Karen Lee Cline, co-author, If I Croak: The Things You Should Know

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