Death Is A Given, Whether We Want To Admit It Or Not.
Last Will And Testament.
One Last Gift For Your Loved Ones, That Allows Them To Grieve, Heal, & Honor Your Legacy.
Shhh – Don’t talk about Death. Many Americans shy away from talking about death with their family & friends.
Often Americans justify not speaking about death through the mindset of being too young, too busy, preventing unsettling thoughts for others, or avoiding family disputes.
Fear surrounding the finality of death is one additional driving element that keeps Americans from addressing the inevitable. The fear of leaving loved ones, unfinished projects, or tasks, and the unknown of what happens next prevents Americans from giving their families the one last gift to allow family members to grieve, heal, and honor the wishes of their legacy.
While it can be challenging to conceptualize not having a physical form on earth, leaving your loved ones to guess what, when, and where can be highly unsettling for them.
We have been trained to view speaking of death as a morbid unspeakable subject line that should be steered away from rather than openly talked about and embraced. As a result, Americans spend more time, energy, and money trying to find the fountain of youth than preparing to transfer their legacies.
Statistics have shown that 78 percent of millennials (ages 18-36), 64 percent of generation X (ages 37 to 56), 40 percent of baby boomers (ages 57 to 71), and 36 percent of parents with children under the age of 18 do not have a Will (Walls, 2017)¹.
While instincts are to turn a cold shoulder on talking about death, the covid-19 pandemic has caused Americans to reevaluate their thought patterns on having death conversations with their loved ones. In reality, the conversation isn’t about dying, but about the journey and legacy of your life. We cannot outrun death, for it will eventually catch up, but we can be the drivers of how our legacies are distributed.
Taking the time to think about death can help increase motivation, improve ones perspective, expand mindfulness, release anxiety, and help one find meaningfulness in life.
One of the best ways to start the process of thinking about death is to prepare a last Will and Testament for your loved ones. Many feel they don’t need a Will because they don’t have a large estate or anything anyone would want. However, the chances are, that you have some type of possessions, which will have to be taken care of by someone. Most of us would rather have our possessions go to family and friends. But without a Will in place, the courts will assign a stranger to decide where your possessions are distributed. Not ideal by any means.
The one thing Americans strive for daily is the control of their belongings, and one way to maintain control of where your possessions will go and how your remains are taken care of is through your Last Will and Testament.
Many would think having a Will at the early age of 18 is not called for, but in reality, once one turns 18 years of age, they are legally considered an adult and no longer under the care of their parents. Believe it or not, young adults have possessions, and they often ponder the “what if’s” surrounding their belongings.
Young adults have grown up in a social media society and control much of their lives around conversing with friends and family and storing photos, documents and managing their finances through social media avenues. Young adults now play in the stock market, get inheritances, and own animals, all of which have to be addressed should the unexpected happen. The point here is that no adult is too young to have a Will drawn up to address their current legacy and ensure their wishes are carried out.
Life is not stagnant, for we grow and change each day, which is why an Estate Plan is a fluid document that can change throughout your personal evolutions in life. Therefore, it is crucial for one to regularly review their estate plan and make the appropriate changes that reflect any life changes such as marriages, divorces, children, health, asset changes, and if one has come into a large sum of money. By being proactive and setting up an Estate Plan, you have taken control of your ultimate destiny. Therefore, pre-planning allows your loved ones to spend their time honoring you and removing any guilt, uncertainty, or anger, rather than forcing them to try to figure out the what, when, and where. A Last Will and Testament leaves your loved ones with with one last gift: a map of how to honor your final wishes.
Here at Dean Law PLLC, we are proud to specialize in Estate Planning for our community. Dean Law is experienced and knowledgeable in all areas of estate planning and with the Idaho Uniform Probate Code. In addition, Dean Law offers a free 30 minutes consultation and is happy to provide direction and answer any questions you may have regarding the process of estate planning.
¹Walls, B. L. (2017, February 24). Survey: 60% of Americans lack will or estate planning. AARP. Retrieved November 10, 2021, from https://www.aarp.org/money/investing/info-2017/half-of-adults-do-not-have-wills.html.