End of Life Planning
End of life planning is not a fun subject. Who on earth wants to think about themselves (or those they love) dying? Yet every month when I do my Project Me Life Wheel® check-in and I see the Money area prompt asking whether my will has been updated and if I’d know where to find important financial documents… I bury my head in the sand and think, ‘I’ll deal with that next month…’ Can you relate?
My husband and I made our wills back when our kids were small and they’re filed away at our lawyers office, but since then the dear friend we chose to be the executor of our wills has himself passed away. His tragic death shook us to the core. We saw firsthand what happens to a family when, amongst the grieving, there is no will.
Jane Duncan Rogers is the founder of Before I Go Solutions, a not-for-profit dedicated to having end of life plans become as commonplace as birth plans, and to encourage people to be more at ease talking about dying, death and grief. Jane says:
If you don’t dare to think about this, then you will likely be leaving your family a very big mess – at the very least a muddle, which they could well do without – at a time when they will be distraught at you not being there.
When you don’t make a will, or intend to but keep putting it off, by default you are making a decision not to have a will. This means you are actively deciding to:
- subject your family and loved ones to months, if not years, of extra expense while the affairs are sorted out
- risk your property being distributed to people whom you would not want to give it to
- allow social services to determine who should look after your children, should neither parent be able to
- choose to pay tax to the government that could otherwise have been left to the family
- give your loved ones a lengthy, drawn out process, involving stress, anxiety and tedium
Take a deep breath with me right now.
Are you up for a Project Me challenge?
How about if you and I make a pact that we will stop procrastinating on this and get it done (or at least make decent headway) by the end of this month?)
- Making a will / updating wills
- Sharing bank account numbers, passwords and knowing where other important documents are like birth certificates, life / home insurance policies, etc.
- Telling someone our wishes regarding any online presence we have. (Social media accounts, for example.)
This can be also be the perfect opportunity to speak to our parents about these important matters. We could show them this article and kindly suggest that we set aside some time to discuss these matters in a positive, productive way.
I’ve invited Jane Duncan Rogers of Before I Go Solutions to run an online workshop for my Project WE members on Monday March 16th at 8pm UK time. (Here’s a handy timezone converter)
If you’re not already a member of Project WE and would like to join in, we’d love to have you. Membership is only $19 (or £15) a month so you can join now and get this workshop, plus all of the other content inside of the Members’ Hub for the next month. If you decide you’d like to cancel your membership, just send an email before your month is up and you won’t be charged again.
All members will receive a workshop replay video. Inside of our members’ community we will hold each other accountable for whatever actions we wish to take based on the workshop.
Although Jane is based in the UK, she works internationally and says it’s surprising how much end of life matters are similar in each (Western) country. However, for the specifics in each state/country, individuals would have to double check what the legalities were, what local initiatives are offered in terms of funerals or assisted dying, for instance, or anything else.
You can find out more about Jane’s important not-for-profit work here at Before I Go Solutions.
Let me know in the comments under this post whether you’re joining me in getting this done by the end of March 2020. (Or if you have a specific date in mind.) You can also share if you’ve taken care of all of this so I can give you a virtual high five!
Here’s where to join Project WE and get in on this important workshop.
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