This past tax season after meeting with many of my existing tax clients and many new people, I was asked many times, when are you having another Death Café?

From now to November, we will have one every month; the third Thursday of each month, starting July 20 we will host a Death Café.

To those of you that have not heard of it before, or have not yet attended, let me explain what a Death Café is. You can find out more at

The short definition is: “At a Death Café people, often strangers, gather to eat cake, drink tea, and discuss death. The objective is to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives.”

I have hosted several Death Cafes over the past couple of years since my first one January 2015.

As per the website’s mandate for the Death Café, mine are also offered on a not-for-profit basis (no cost to attend), in a respectful, accessible, and confidential space (the meeting room at my office); with no intention of leading people to any conclusion, product or course of action (not seeking any business, no obligation to use any of my services); and I won’t “try to sell you something”.

And I’ll provide the free coffee or tea and cake.

What do people talk about? Whatever they want.

During the past Death Cafes, we’ve discussed: personal care homes, supportive housing and senior assisted living, home care, naming legal representatives for your Power of Attorney and your Will and your Health Care Directive (and introduced the Compassionate Care Contract).

We talked about naming beneficiaries, death of a pet and what happens to your pet after you die, cremation, natural cemeteries, probate fees, lawyer fees and dealing with banks and credit unions, having conversation with your children about your end of life wishes, funeral planning and more.

The feedback I’ve received has been excellent. And some participants keep coming back because they want to hear more from others or talk more about what they learned.

Some have asked for more formal Estate Planning workshops (I put on one last November and may do another one this fall).

And since the end of life care each of us has witnessed can be different from what others have experienced, it’s important to share. The more we learn about what can happen to us, the more we can be prepared (and prepare our family).

Personally, my objective is to encourage everyone to have the conversation with your family so both you and your family are more prepared for end of life decisions. I encourage everyone to have a Compassionate Care Contract and a Power of Attorney and a Will.

If you are interested in attending, contact us. Space is limited to about 12 to 15 people and a smaller group is more comfortable for everyone to share their experiences and ask questions.

If you cannot make the next one on July 20, you can sign up now for the future ones in August or September.

Anni Markmann is a Personal Income Tax Professional and Certified Financial Planner; living, working, and volunteering in our community. Contact her at 204.422.6631 or 36 Dawson Road in Ste Anne (near Co-op) or