New Guide Helps Families Plan for Death

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The LastingMatters™ Organizer eliminates the guesswork following the loss of a loved one.

I want to make planning and conversations about death and dying practical and helpful, not morbid and fearful.

Death. It’s inevitable and it happens to each of us, yet it's something few people plan for.

That’s what inspired Barbara Bates Sedoric to create “The LastingMatters Organizer” (, a comprehensive guide to documenting life’s most important personal information. The book was recently highlighted on New Hampshire Public Radio as one of the “must-reads” ( for the summer of 2014.

Born out of her background helping families as an estates and trusts paralegal, as well as the deeply personal experience of her mother’s sudden death, Sedoric developed a guide that can help anyone, at any age, reduce the costs, time, stress, and family tensions associated with the death of a loved one.

“I want to make planning and conversations about death and dying practical and helpful, not morbid and fearful,” she said. “If we had talked about what my mother wanted and actually prepared for her death, we would have been able to share our grief without being overwhelmed by the hundreds of decisions that needed to be made. We could have spent more time celebrating her life, rather than attempting to discern her wishes.”

In her extensive research, Sedoric discovered that the available tools on how to handle a loved one’s affairs were woefully inadequate. “Some resources cover the health aspects of dying,” she said. “Others are about the legalities.” As a result, Sedoric designed “The LastingMatters Organizer” using her strong organizational skills to make it easy to communicate your intentions - from what to do with your belongings to how you want your life celebrated.

Using easy-to-understand prompts, readers complete simple checklists, leaving their loved ones with answers to a variety of questions:

  •     What do you want?
  •     What are your intentions?
  •     What do you have and where is it located.

But more than an organizer, this tool facilitates one of the most meaningful conversations people might ever have. Keith Sabella, a 55-year-old college professor and father of two, initially thought his wife was being “morbid” when she came home with “The LastingMatters Organizer.”

“But we walked through the process together and there were so many things we hadn’t talked about that needed discussion,” he said. “I can’t believe how much I found out about her, her life, and what she wants and doesn’t want when she dies. What a surprise - that talking about death could make us feel much more alive!”

For those who find it difficult to discuss and review the information in person, “The LastingMatters Organizer” can be completed without sharing a word - leaving the gift of information for those left behind.

“The LastingMatters™ Organizer” is available at or Amazon ( in two formats: as a secure downloadable e-Book and also as a beautifully designed 170-page printed organizer. Sedoric’s story was featured on Maria Shriver’s website, which highlights “Inspirational Stories for Architects of Change,” and was shared with Shriver’s 2.3 million Twitter followers (

Barbara Bates Sedoric is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Connecticut College and former estates and trusts paralegal. Her husband Tom is a nationally recognized wealth manager ( who has helped hundreds of families with countless life transitions. Barb and Tom and their family live in Rye, New Hampshire.

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Barb Sedoric
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