Some friends were sharing a bottle of wine and the conversation turned to remembering someone who had “passed away.” The next thing you know, the friends began listing the euphemisms that we use in our society for death or dying. The list they came up with before the wine bottle was empty is quite lengthy. There are the obvious such as deceased, expired, and passed but then there are the more obscure references such as: moribund, not long for this world, returning home, and having taken the last plunge. The euphemisms even gave a nod to pop culture with pining for the fjords (a Monty Python reference), left the building (as in Elvis has left the building) and sleeping with the fishes (from the movie The Godfather
The list was long. It seems that when it comes to death, we don’t want to talk about it or think about it, much less even say the word.
Unfortunately, that kind of aversion to talking about it leads to procrastination in preparing for something that we all know is inevitable. Too often we delay preparing Wills or Trusts out of fear of talking about the subject. But, in doing so, we do a disservice to our loved ones and to ourselves.
Estate planning involves more than just what to do with your things after you “cash in your chips.” Equally, or perhaps more important are the documents that provide for you, during your lifetime, if you become incapacitated, either temporarily or permanently.
A Durable Power of Attorney, a Designation of Health Care Surrogate and a Living Will are documents that every adult should have, as a matter of sound planning while you are living. Those documents provide for your care and provide a way for others to handle your financial affairs if you are unable to do so for yourself.
None of us has a crystal ball, and we know that accidents happen every day without warning. So, as a New Year’s resolution, make this the year that you decide to come up with a plan for yourself—for the here and now.
It’s easy to call and make an appointment. Before any more time “slips away….”