If You Are Reading This...I Am Dead
Death. The final frontier. A place where no man has returned from to describe to others in satisfactory terms. No human escapes it as the time draws near. The only positive thing is that nobody knows when it is THEIR time. It comes like a thief in the night or like a earthquake. Its aftermath usually causes family turmoil beyond calculation and scars the one's left behind forever.
What Are Your Plans?
As a person reaches his sixties, the thought, that would seldom be taken seriously, begins to have real meaning. This is especially the case after friends or relatives have died before or after. The thought of dying, still, remains elusive and incomprehensible because you know of no other way. Even when you were 20, the thought of dying may have crossed your mind briefly because of a sudden peer death. Yet, life just pushed it aside rather quickly back into the recesses of your mind. Of course then, had it happened, you would have no plan because you have spent all your time growing and had few assets acquired to pass on. As you aged, you did acquire assets but the thought of not being around life remained something distant that only happens to others. Not you!
While planning for your death can occur at any age, most likely, nothing really serious is done until your sixties because you know it could happen at anytime, and that "anytime" now is more likely than not. People suddenly die all the time for a variety of reasons.
The most common before death preparations are:
- Life Insurance
- Precious documents in a secure location
- Burial services and plans prepaid
- Information on bank accounts and stocks
But to be honest, it is hard to act and plan for your own death. But sooner or later, everyone does some planning so the loved ones left behind have an easier time. Many put it off and then it happens and the turmoil follows. Simple things like dealing with financial institutions become s burden. Accessing accounts is a whole other matter.
In my mother's case, starting when she was 60 or so, she created a trust for distribution of funds and physical things. Every so often, as time went on, she would want to talk about it and the changes, if any. I could only give a deaf ear to the discussion of this grim event that would happen. I just did not want to accept it that my mom would die one day (even though my dad had died earlier of stroke without warning). Well, as years flew by, her health deteriorated slowly and then death rushed to her in the final year at age 78. Along the way, she had made changes many times to the Trust. She had bought her cemetery plot near my dad and paid for the cremation. She would always remind me where the "important" documents were and how the money in the bank accounts was to be given and to whom. She had even appointed me the "Executor" for the Trust. She provided various other information about accounts and her attorney.
She had made it very easy for me and brother long before the event happened. Real estate and financials transferred easily and life just continued on without missing a beat. That was good, as the last year was horrific. Lung cancer was found in March and by May, she was gone. The speed at which it spread was like wildfire.
But, even at the time of her death and afterwards, I find it very difficult to do what my mother had done. Reality is hard to face. After all, does any healthy, active, person want it to end?