Life Advice



Ask Amy: Sister wants elder to make estate plans

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

My answer is assuming that your grandmother’s four husbands are not buried in this particular family plot.

If I were doing this, I would include her full birth name, as well as her final surname (assuming that she legally took her last husband’s surname). I would also include her children’s names, if allowable.

For instance: Mary Besemer Clark Jones (birth and death dates)

Loving mother of Stacy Randolph Carter (birth and death dates)

And Steven Alden Fox (birth and death dates)

The cemetery will have guidelines and suggestions. Some cemeteries will only allow names of people included on headstones if those persons are actually buried in that plot. Make sure to check with the cemetery director before you make your decision.

Dear Amy: Several years ago, you suggested that a woman “make friends with her fears,” name them “Stan,” then tell Stan to “get lost.”

Like everyone, I have my issues. The most destructive to me are my tendency to live in the past and to hold grudges.

Every time I start re-living negative events from my past, I tell my “Stan” I simply don’t have time for him now, and then deliberately distract myself, just like you said.


IT WORKS! Immediately and easily!

I’m a lot happier, now that I’ve made friends with Stan.

– A Friend of Stan

Dear Friend: I remember writing that advice, and although I am unable to find the original column, I’m so happy you’ve made friends with your own “Stan.”


(You can email Amy Dickinson at or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)

©2022 Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.




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