I have been teaching/lecturing/educating for a while now about having your affairs in order, no matter what your age. People that have had to deal with the aftermath of a death that wasn’t prepared for will be the first ones to make sure they don’t do the same thing to their loved ones. Most of the rest of the population will say they don’t want to be a burden after they are gone.
I did have one client though that told me he has a cantakorus relationship with his son and he can’t wait to stick it to him after he’s gone.
Luckily, most people aren’t like that.
I have been working on the case of a woman who died recently. No, it wasn’t COVID19. I had worked with her previously while she transitioned to a smaller home and then I wanted to start getting her organized. She was very stubborn and frankly, also a bit nasty. She didn’t have any intentions of cooperating.
I just spoke to her attorney. She told me she had several times recommended many of the same things but she had refused to change any of her plans to make it simpler or easier.
Now, I grew fond of her and am truly sad she is gone. But I also have cursed her several times in the last week. There is no reason that taking care of her affairs had to be this difficult. It is exhausting and maddening.
It makes me more passionate than ever about my job. I keep trying to help PREVENT this from happening. I speak loud and long about taking steps before you are old, and before you have a medical emergency. You will get better care every step of the way. You will be able to focus on the crisis when it comes, without having to add panic to the mix.
I try not to be too judgmental, but I just have to say this before it burns out of my skull. I think it is selfish to not be responsible with these things. I haven’t come across a good reason yet to not be prepared. It can be very detrimental to your well-being, and it is definitely overwhelming for the people you eventually leave behind.
DO NOT DO THIS TO YOUR FAMILY!
Get prepared. Get informed. Don’t be lazy. Don’t think you will do this “later.”
One of the advantages of doing things early in the game is that you can slow down the process so it doesn’t drown you. About two years before my dad died, we started working on his notebook. (This notebook is the now the model I use when teaching and doing workshops.)
Every couple of weeks we would tackle one task. We started closing bank accounts until he eventually only had one checking and one savings account. We spoke to a financial advisor and slowly cashed in his investments. There weren’t many and they weren’t large, but such things can be a nightmare for an executor later on, especially if they go into probate.
I could list many more things. But I can’t stress enough, DO IT NOW. Do it for yourself and for God’s sake if you have aging parents, DO IT YESTERDAY.
It’s not very painful unless you wait. If it isn’t done, you have a headache every day and fantasize about jumping off a cliff.
Okay, I’m stepping off my soapbox. Please, give it some serious thought. And reach out to me if you need guidance.