Intrusive relatives behaving like primitive scavengers are abusing grieving Australians when they are wrapping up the home and possessions of a loved one, according to a national survey.
More than 40,000 website answers to the online survey showed relatives laying claim to the estate intimidated 86 per cent of respondents.
The survey results are contained in the book, Wrapping It Up by Gold Coast journalist and author Diana Todd-Banks published today.
"It's a shocking indictment of our values, the way we treat people and where we are heading as a society," said Ms Todd-Banks.
"I cried when I read some of the replies. They showed greed and lack of respect for a person's life and achievements.
"In this world of amazing technological and scientific advances, has the human race - at least the English speaking people - descended to such a low where a deceased person's life appears to mean nothing, at least to some family members?
"86% or people who responded said they had experienced devastating and abusive behaviour, severe emotional abuse, intense destructive interference, irrational, cruel, or at times physical threats from relatives.
"Largely all of these actions were over possessions, greed and buried animosities."
Wrapping It Up is a definitive book dealing with one of life's most difficult, and daunting, tasks. While it does not offer legal or financial advice, it is an essential ‘first-aid kit' to prepare people for the task they will eventually face either for themselves or somebody ekse.
The book's forward was written by leading Australian achiever Ron Clarke, a retired chartered accountant and registered tax agent.
Ten years ago, when Ms Todd-Banks' mother was found days after her death, she was confronted with the task and found nothing to guide her.
After wrapping up her mother's home, she decided to write a book that would be helpful to others who would some day find themselves facing the responsibility of this daunting task.
After creating a research website and with the help of more than 40,000 website answers, Ms Todd-Banks has published her findings for the benefit of others.
One person wrote: "While everyone was at the funeral, another family member along with some friends used a removal truck and took most of the possessions from the home before the funeral was over, even though they were not entitled to it. It was obviously very well planned. You can imagine the shock to the rest of the family!"
Wrapping It Up addresses many issues, whether it be moving a loved one to full-time care, or wrapping up a humble home or a massive mansion or preparing your own affairs.
Wrapping It Up is the ultimate ‘how-to' guide that takes away the fear of dealing with death and helps people understand:
• what to do after a deceased person has been moved from their home;
• the issues they need to address during the wrapping up process;
• what needs to be achieved within the first 2 or 3 days;
• there is a wrong time to move possessions from a deceased person's home;
• that grief and stress affect your nutritional needs;
- that shock and grief are powerful emotions, which can cloud your thinking and decision making abilities;
• that there are many people who cannot face the subject or task, and
• that astonishing surprises can confront a wrapper.
- Included is a checklist of what to do when wrapping up a home.
The 312 page book has been written in larger type and printed on non-reflective paper to make it easier for stressed, grieving older people with poor eyesight to read in poor lighting.
Ms Todd-Banks says that writing the book has made her realise the even greater importance of friends and more importantly people who are special to you.
She says every adult should have a copy of this book and read it before they need it because they will not know how to face the task or when they will have to face it.
"It is better to have a copy of the book and not need it than to need the book and not have it," said Ms Todd-Banks
Wrapping It Up sells for a recommended retail price of $39.95 and can be ordered from http://www.wrappingitup.com.au
To arrange an interview or pictures,
contact the Author Diana: 0755640848, Mb: 0407187008
A background media kit is available for download from http://www.wrappingitup.com.au