Theirs is a chill in the air and the days are getting shorter. The harvest has been brought in and leaves are changing colors. We are on the verge of the holiday season and ready to celebrate with our family and friends. This is the time when you might see Uncle Joe and Aunt Edna for Christmas. Or perhaps all of your adult children will be together under one roof for Thanksgiving. Here are 4 important will information you need to know.
Though the subject is a little controversial for a celebratory occasion, this may be just the right time to speak about the circumstances surrounding impending mortality. Now, while everyone is together and able to converse. Death is a long-known truism. In fact, Shakespeare allows Hamlet to make emotional observation as he holds the skull of Yorick, one of his caretakers.
“Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy: he hath borne me on his back a thousand times; and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is! my gorge rims at it. Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know not how oft.”
When Hamlet speaks fondly of Yorick, it is far too late. Yorick is no longer available to hold a conversation. How quickly this situation can become the one you find yourself in. Therefore, though death isn’t the most pleasant subject, it is important to take advantage of the times your family is together, including holidays such as Thanksgiving. In fact, you can argue that talking about these matters now will save the family a lot of grief and potential discord later. Specifically, there are a few very simpler, yet important matters which you can discuss during a holiday:
Everyone over 18 should have an advanced directive detailing what they want to happen in the event of deteriorating or serious injury. Any hospital staff member can tell you a horror story of family conflict occurring when health decisions have had to be made. One of the most well-known is Terri Schiavo who suffered cardiac arrest and lived in a vegetative state on life support for eight years until her husband got a court order to remove her feeding tube. Her parents fought to keep her alive. The case continued the familial battle until a court upheld the original order to remove the tube. The situation caused a tremendous amount of emotional pain for everyone involved. If Schiavo had signed an advanced directive, the conflict would have been moot.
No matter how close your family members are, there will be fighting over your effects. Sentimental and monetary concerns add more stress to an already difficult situation. You can serve your family best by discussing issues sooner rather than later. Plus, if everyone is aware of how you want your body to be disposed of (such as cremation, natural burial, donated to science or any other method) you can avoid further argument.
Where children are involved plans for a guardianship is fundamental. However, care for beloved pets can result in arguments.
Making sure your online passwords, user names and PIN numbers are accessible to insure all social media and digital assets can be taken care of.
There is no need to get into the details over turkey and stuffing, however, introducing discussion about these basics is easier when love abounds during the holidays—especially in light of avoiding any conflicts or lost relationships. Speak from a loving place and expect good things to follow.
Holidays like Thanksgiving are positive events designed to spend time together. Having family and loved ones presents us with the important task to continue love after loss. Therefore, it is important to leave our legacies. Providing our stories and expressing our final wishes is one way we continue a legacy of love and respect.
After prompting discussion, you don’t have to do things alone. Let WillBox.Me help you will all of your digital afterlife, online legacy, electronic will, asset protection and virtual safe deposit box needs.
December 10, 2015