Recently, my daughter begged me to read the same book she was reading. I resisted for a while because I thought I didn’t have time and I probably wouldn’t enjoy the book. Then she got her mother to take her to the library and check out the audio CD version of the book. She told me I would love it and she was so cute I couldn’t resist.
In the weeks that followed, I confess I was enthralled in the book. I hung on every word from the very talented narrator. As I sat in a parking lot, waiting to go into an appointment, I noticed I was getting close to the last CD in the package. For a moment, I contemplated the horror I would feel if I turned to the last sleeve in the package and found the final CD missing. What would I do? How would I get along without knowing how everything was supposed to turn out? Just to be sure, I turned to the last sleeve in the package and to my relief found the final CD safely waiting for me to get to it.
Lately, I have been reflecting on the similarities between my experience with the audio book, and the experience many of my client families experience in dealing with the estate of a loved one. Tragically, in many cases, the “final CD” of someone’s life – their estate plan – is missing just when the one’s they love want and need to know how the story is supposed to end. Too often, people neglect their duty to write out the final chapter, tell us all how it’s supposed to finish up.
A will, and in most cases, preferably a trust, is the way we write out at least some of the important aspects of the final chapters of our lives. These and other estate planning documents tell us who gets what, who you want to be in charge, your plans for your property and your final thoughts on your hopes and wishes for the ones you love.
Don’t delay crafting these final thoughts. Don’t procrastinate this act of love and joy. Take charge of putting in place your thoughts and wishes so your loved ones can enjoy more certainty, peace and reflection when you’re no longer there.