Benjamin Franklin wrote, “… but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” In this tumultuous time, I will most certainly not be discussing taxes. Many of you know of my Christian faith, but it’s not death and eternity I’m writing about either.
I have found it could be beneficial to share information about preparing for one’s own death. For example, preparing a will, or having life insurance to cover burial costs would be something that could be done way ahead of time and alleviate many headaches for surviving family members.
Death is never something people want to discuss, but the reality is, death comes for us all. It will happen to us at some point and the most loving thing we can do for our family is try and make it an easy transition for them. I have no doubt you know a family that has been torn apart, not only by the passing of a loved one, but by the lack of direction left for the family to follow. Often, infighting ensues. “Mom wanted this.” “Dad never would have wanted that.” “I will not allow you to…” “Where are the diamond earrings I am supposed to get?” “How are we going to pay for this?” Heightened emotions are hard enough but add confusion and financial stress to the equation and it’s a train ready to derail.
I have seen a loved one’s passing go two ways. The chaotic train wreck and a smooth gliding sailboat. Of those two options, I’m sure everyone would like to leave their family with smooth sailing. If you are reading this, there is still time to make an easy transition their reality. Let me share some suggestions with you…
• Make a will and be sure someone either has a copy or knows where it is.
• Have enough money set aside (whether through life insurance, or something else) to pay for your funeral and burial expenses.
• Have medical insurance that will cover your last expenses. Don’t miss this and stick your family with the bills.
• Write up all of your account information (and how to access them) and tell someone where it is.
• Make a list of all organizations, businesses, and people who need to be contacted with their phone numbers.
When Jim’s dad passed away, he had a list of everything that needed to be done and the information on how to do it in the top drawer of his desk. All the financial and legal things were easily managed by his children because he made the decision to be prepared for the inevitable.
My guess is that most people would like to make their passing as easy on the remaining family members as possible. If you take steps to be prepared ahead of time, paperwork and finances don’t need to add headache to heartache. If you haven’t done the above-mentioned things, I highly suggest you make time to do so, soon. We never know when it is our time. Be prepared.