Are We Ready?
This week (May 13-19) is the Dying Matters Awareness Week, and the theme is “Are We Ready?” Dying Matters. Although it is a mere three-word question, in the context of death it is one all too commonly ignored and one which typically is not answered in the affirmative. Most of us spend our entire lives ignoring death. Although I am the first to admit we certainly should not dwell on death, it does warrant some discussion. You never know when it will be your time to go. Do not wait until you are staring death in the face to start worrying about how you are going to get all your ducks in a row.
People in Western cultures are molded to view death as a sort of taboo. “Society has created mechanisms, forms of cultural adaptation, that are meant to keep people from becoming conscious of their creaturely (animal) nature—and, therefore, their mortality.” The Taboo of Death. Until we discover the secret to immortality, death is still a certainty. And as long as death remains a certainty, one of the greatest gifts you can give to those you love is a sense of peace when you are gone.
Estate planning is part of that gift of peace of mind. Planning for the end of your life and beyond is not just figuring out who will get your money when you die. It includes setting up a plan for any potential decision-making on your behalf in the event you are unable to be your own decision maker. It includes planning for the lives of those you leave behind, especially any surviving dependents. Although young adults and young families are historically the ones least likely to have an estate plan in place, they are arguably the ones who need it the most. Young families, for example, need to have a plan in place for the care of any minor children following an unexpected death of one or both parents. Who will raise your children if you are not around to do it?
Young or old, we would like to help. If you do not have your estate planning documents in place, please reach out to me. I can ensure that the next time you are asked “Are you Ready?” you will be able to answer with a resounding “Yes.”