Friday, January 15, 2010

Life (and death) Preparations

Well I can't believe this - I sat down and wrote a long post in this new editor and it is simply gone. How annoying. On the other hand it may well spare you ready a bit of sappy writing. Not totally mind you as here I am again but we all know how those rough drafts go - or not.

With everyone talking about New Year's Resolutions a while back and some conversation I can't remember coming up between my son and myself, my thoughts turned to preparing for the worst. Resolving perhaps to make sure the ones left behind have an easier time of it than they'd have if you simply fail to plan. Let's face it, no one wants to talk about it. To the extent all to often that a loved one dies and the bereaved find out nothing was done that should have been done, so now they have not just the grief to cope with but a huge mess to boot. Funeral plans no one thought to consider prior to the need. Financial issues of paperwork or money itself because no one wanted to think about morbid topics like dying. Once the person is dead it is too late but how many times do we hear, if only...

If only the house had been in both our names.

If only we had had mortgage insurance.

If only we had bought enough life insurance.

If only I knew where all the papers were or what bills we have the wife might say...

If only..

Let your new year resolution be to put the ax to as many of those "if only" types of statements as you can ahead of time. Have that impossible conversation. Think those impossible thoughts. If they died - what needs to be done, what needs to be in place?

My husband died in 1998. We had some time to prepare but many things we let slide, or it was too late once the diagnosis was made to change some things. Lapsed life insurance. A large mortgage. Debt. We thought he'd live forever and have a good retirement? Well yes we all do that don't we however life sometimes throws us a curveball.

I won't write about what to do as there are wonderful sites with more information you need than I could put here in a short time. My only hope is if you read this you will consider preparing for the worst. Take care of your loved ones. Don't let it slide. Start the new year out with taking care of those unpleasant things because you know what? Whether you want to talk about it or not, death comes to all of us.

Here's three blogs you can look at to start -
What You Need to Do Before you Go
5 Financial Lessons to Learn from Celebrity Deaths
Things I've Learned Losing A Parent

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