Death for Beginners: Your No-Nonsense, Money-Saving Guide to Planning for the Inevitable Reviewed By Conny Crisalli of
Conny Withay

Reviewer Conny Withay:Operating her own business in office management since 1991, Conny is an avid reader and volunteers with the elderly playing her designed The Write Word Game. A cum laude graduate with a degree in art living in the Pacific Northwest, she is married with two sons, two daughters-in-law, and three grandchildren.

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By Conny Withay
Published on November 17, 2012

Author: Karen Jones
Publisher: Quill Driver Books
ISBN: 978-1-884995-61-3

Author: Karen Jones
Publisher: Quill Driver Books
ISBN: 978-1-884995-61-3

Karen Jones states in her book, Death for Beginners – Your No-Nonsense, Money-Saving Guide to Planning for the Inevitable, “…the average cost of an adult funeral will soon be $7323 … And that does not include costs for the plot, marker, flowers or obituary.”

With two hundred and forty-three pages, this paperback book is a complete resource for every human being that acknowledges their own mortality and wants to prepare in advance for their demise. Written especially for the control freak that wants to know every aspect of his or her deceased body handling and discard, financial costs and disbursement of inheritance or social etiquette on the internet, here are not only the answers, but so much more.

Insightful and informative, author Jones writes humorously and sometimes irreverently from the pre-death decisions to grieving months or years later. The textbook has eight chapters that cover what to do with your body, ground burial verses cremation options, coffin and urn choices, funeral and memorial service tidbits, informing others of your passing, leaving a clear paper trail and closure. The appendix includes almost sixty pages of worksheets in fill-in-the-blank format, resources, bibliography, glossary and index.

You not only learn the low-end costs of basic cremation ($1,000), burial ($6,000), mummification ($67,000) or cryogenics ($150,000) but how to do each, pros and cons and websites to research. Entombment is cheaper as less labor than digging a hole, there are rules to a green ecological burial, and one can even prepare the body and do it at home. Knowing the Funeral Rules, you can call companies with knowledge and confidence about prices and services rendered. Or choose to have a casket-building party, a cardboard box for under $200 or a simple $50 cremation urn that can get past TSA security.

The book has a myriad of information, pricing, tips and downright funny ideas and stories that will make you smirk as you plan your final exit. Write your own glowing and professional obituary in advance but remind those left behind to be careful of identity theft with the death certificate. Know ways to inform social media of your good-bye party or leave postmortem notes online for future viewing. Don’t forget to pre-order that solar powered memorial marker, complete with a lamb symbolizing innocence or have a pre-inheritance auction with your loving family members so they do not fight over your prized possessions.

With all seriousness, this book should be in all baby boomer’s hands and filled out lovingly with their aging parent’s wishes or their own. It is a great source of information about a taboo topic that is concise, to-the-point yet written in a fun way.

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