I am a life coach who is blogging about DEATH.
Yes, that thing that happens to us all at some point and about which we don’t like to think.
Over 25 years ago, I found myself a young widow with two little boys, finances in shambles, and no will. That’s right. My husband, an educated and wonderful man, would talk about it, but we never got around to doing it. Because Russ’s body was lost at sea, an added layer of complication was in my life. Fortunately, most of our few assets were in both our names.
After he died, girlfriend here had her first will drawn up.
I pressed my parents when they were in their seventies to get a will. They finally did, and it made my life much easier when they each passed. Ten months before my father died at age 91, I realized he was an old man (it took me a while!), so I planned his funeral, wrote his obituary, bought his casket, and put everything in place for when the dreaded time came. He was a former prisoner of war who had seen death in the most brutal of ways, but he’d never talk about his own plans, telling me, “Oh, we have time.”
Sorry, Daddy. You were an old man, and you never knew I had it all planned and paid for!
The process, once he passed, was pretty smooth for this only child who lived five hours away, and it gave me time to finish his eulogy, which I’d started months before.
I had my third will written last year. I update my sons annually regarding such matters as my safe deposit box, my finances, and any money owed to me (as was the case a few years ago with a real estate investment, so I gave the the person’s contact info and amount owed to my boys, then informed them when the debt was paid). I have also given them the scriptures and hymns I want at my funeral. In fact, I am getting ready to do an update for them this week!
Which brings me to my point: There are 3 things you NEED to do this week, if you haven’t already done them. I don’t mean to sound morbid, but here’s a truth:
Today could be your last.
Are your affairs in order? Do you want your loved ones trying to figure out what’s what or having to bear the load of planning your service when they are in their first days of grief? Want to have the court appoint guardians for your children?
I hope you get the picture… and the urgency.
The Three Things You Need to Do This Week:
1. Review your current will, and update pronto if anything has changed. If you don’t have a will, use one of those online will services or schedule an appointment with an attorney who can draft it. This week.
Parents with underage children need to think about who will take care of their precious young loved ones in their absence. I had an attorney do all my wills, but there are reputable online services, including LegalZoom (https://www.legalzoom.com/). Get this important task completed this week, or at least start the process. Make several copies of your signed and notarized will, and make sure your loved ones, especially the person you name as your estate executor, has a copy.
2. Update your loved ones on important information, such as your banking location, investments, mortgage, credit lines, etc. I recommend being as specific as possible, listing key persons (such as an investment advisor) and his or her contact information. Make this easy, so if you pass, your loved ones know whom to contact. Update this information annually.
3. Write out your final wishes, including burial or cremation plans, funeral location, presiding pastors and/or eulogists, and any hymns, songs, or readings, you want. True, you won’t be around to listen-unless the good Lord grants you a peek- but you also don’t necessarily want to be celebrated and mourned with someone else’s choices… unless you’re okay with that option.
Dear friends, I know what it’s like to scramble in shock to figure out finances and to plan a memorial service. I also know the ease that comes from planning in advance. Trust me when I say you need to do the three things I’ve outlined here. This week.
And by getting these important tasks completed, you’ll rest in peace, now, and hopefully forever!
Amy Walton is a certified life coach and Christian life coach who lives in coastal Virginia. She has a will- yay her! Her kids know where it is, and they know whom to contact when she is no longer around, which she hopes is a long time from now. In the meantime, she’s spending her life here on earth empowering and giving women hope and enjoying herself through regular workouts, clean living, time with family and friends, and a little splash of wine. Connect with her at http://amywaltoncoaching.com