Preparing Yourself for Death
The Topic Families Hate to Discuss
We all know that nobody gets out of this life alive, so it has always been the "when". Death and Jesus comes like a thief. Bam. Your time is up FOREVER. I still can't get over just how fast the years went by and here I am having to think about my own death. How to handle it.
I recall when I was 20ish, thinking about 40ish, seemed like eternity. Then, when I arrived at that station in life, I thought about 60ish. I had the same blank imagination about the future.
But, the reality is, death comes at anytime, whether it is expected or not. My niece's boyfriend, in his 40s, had spent the past weekend with his kids before hitting the road to a new place. Along the way, he nodded out from driving and was instantly killed. Did he have a plan for his death? Then, there was the optometrist on vacation in Maui with his wife, on the day they were to leave, he went in the beautiful waters kissing that island one last time. It really was his last time. For in the water, unbeknownst to him, was a deadly shark. Within an instant, bliss turned into terror and frenzy, the shark was vicious. His wife heard him scream and raced to the shoreline helpless. She could only watch her husband die in his screams. Was he ready for his end?
Death is Horrifying
Whether prepared or not, the shock of death lingers for years for the loved ones. I recall my own mother preparing for her demise, beginning at age 60 or so. She had created a trust and nearly every time I visited her until her own death, she would mention the Will and Trust, much to my annoyance! I refused to think my mom would one day not be around! All kids think of their parents as some eternal super heroes until reality hits in the later years. She would state that should anything happen to me, the Trust and Will are in specific place because I would be executor over the other siblings.
Of course, as years went by, the whole thing became a habit for her and she made sure I was aware of any updates or changes. I still refused to believe it would actually be needed until one day, death was seriously knocking at her door when lung cancer had been discovered. It was already too late and within four months, I had to act upon her wishes as the Will instructed. I still was in a disbelief.
When is the right time?
Just when should a person create their own Will or Trust? Does a young rock star with millions do one when they are just 23 yrs. old? Should one wait until they have something of value and designate loved ones? Should you just wait until you retire to create a Will?
There are no right answers. But, I would think one would create one if they do have things of value to designate to loved ones. The Will itself can be quite basic written by the person and witnessed by another at the time of creation. In the Will, you name a person to execute your wishes. The same applies to creating a Trust, but usually this requires a Probate attorney especially if there are real estate properties involved. Items in a trust allow the descendants to avoid probate and taxes.
If you have not already done one, you should at least do a simple Will so your wishes are carried out.