There’s a great piece on Huffington Post by Judith Johnson, life coach and author of The Wedding Ceremony Planner, titled The Importance of End-of-Life Preparation. She and I are on the same page when it comes to encouraging families to think about and talk to each other about death and putting one’s affairs in order.
Her definition of putting your affairs in order is that at a minimum, all adults need to have two legal documents: a health care proxy and a will or trust. She goes into an excellent discussion of both documents, and ends with The top five excuses and secret fears for not putting one’s affairs in order:
1. If I put my affairs in order, then I will die very soon.
Not true! There is absolutely no connection. This is simply an irrational fear.
2. I’ll do it later. I’m too busy. Or, I’m young, and therefore have plenty of time.
How much time you have is not in your control.
3. It is all too much. I don’t know where to start. I’m overwhelmed.
Just do it! The risk involved in not having these documents is just too high!
4. It’s too creepy to deal with this stuff.
It’s creepy to change a baby’s diaper, but you do it anyway!
5. It’s too expensive. I can’t afford the legal expense right now.
It will be far more expensive both financially and legally for your loved ones if you don’t get this done and you forfeit the right to direct your own affairs.