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Preparing for the unthinkable

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I’ve always been very proactive when it comes to preparing for my own death. I want to make sure that the things I’ve worked so hard for will transfer seamlessly to my children. Since I assume they will already be devastated enough by my death and the grief associated with it, I want to make things as easy as I can for them during that time.

I am intrigued by the many, many people that don’t plan for their death. It’s inevitable, right? Death is the one thing that we can all count on. We’re all going to die. Because I’ve always been extremely fascinated with psychology, this phenomenon is so interesting to me. When I question people about why they haven’t done anything to prepare for it, they usually blush and admit they just don’t like to think about it.

Let’s take it one step further, it’s honestly super simple to get things in order for your loved ones before your death. On the flip side, it’s a nightmare for your loved ones when your affairs aren’t in order. Probate drags on and on, money and other belongings go unaccounted for, etc. I don’t know if it’s the inner organizer in me that made me so highly aware of the need for this (organizers are all about getting things in good order) or if it stems from the death of my Dad when I was 20, or the death of my brother when he was only 39. Either way, I have always been highly aware of the need to prepare for this. I’ve had a will since I was 20 and I have updated it several times since then.

Just having a will isn’t enough though. You’ll need to give several people copies of it. And you’ll need to be sure that those people affected by it know where to find it and that they know what your wishes are. I’ve sent copies of my will to at least 4 people and have made my children aware of my wishes, where they can find all of my legal documents and what they will be expected to do upon my death. My children are 24 & 27 so they’re really not children anymore, but they still need guidance from someone they can trust about how they should handle things once I’m gone.

Today I am taking care of a couple of things that have been nagging at me for years but I’ve been too busy working constantly to address them. It feels so great to finally get my own stuff organized now that I have more time to do it. I am having a Beneficiary Deed created and recorded so that the house I bought 7 years ago will transfer immediately to my children upon my death. I am also changing my car title to include my children as the TOD (Transfer on Death) parties so that my car will transfer to them immediately as well. All of this preparing just takes a little bit of time and a very, very small amount of money.

Taking these steps to make sure my affairs are in order, and tweaking them as I go through life to be sure they are up to date and include everything, gives me peace of mind that my children will be taken care of, and my assets will be accounted for, after I’m gone.

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