For death begins with life’s first breath, and life begins at the touch of death – John Oxenham
I remember visiting one particular widow who had no children, and whose recently deceased husband took care of all of the financial arrangements. In a sentence she had become totally dependant on him financially. When he passed away, she so desperately wanted to grieve, but could not find the time because she was so wracked with concern over her financial situation. Her joint bank account had been frozen, she could not find a Last Will and Testament and did not understand her death in service benefits and how they were processed. What made the situation all the more avoidable was the fact that they both knew he had a short life expectancy.
The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time – Mark Twain
The recent heart attack suffered by my Nan has once again got me thinking about death and the need to prepare for it. After reading Embracing Uncertainty by Susan Jeffers I decided to complete a Last Will and Testament. You can purchase do-it-yourself kits from stationary stores and post offices and they are really easy to complete for just under £25.
When you purchase your Last Will and Testament make sure you have thought long and hard about the following points:
1. What do you own in the term of assets? Compile a list.
2. How do you want those assets to be divided upon death i.e. who will be your residuary beneficiary?
3. You need to choose two people to be executors of your will. These people will be responsible for ensuring your wishes are carried out after your death.
4. If you have children, then you need to select a guardian and reserve guardian to look after them in the event of your death.
5. You need to choose a replacement residuary beneficiary, should your residuary beneficiary die before you?
6. What arrangements do you want for your funeral?
7. Where will the paperwork be held and how will the executors know?
Having to deal with the death of a loved is a traumatic experience for those you leave behind. Please don’t give them anything else to worry about. Let them grieve in peace…complete a Last Will and Testament today.
Have you completed a last Will and Testament? If so what route did you take to complete one.
I felt a range of emotions during my experience with the widow and it felt sad that one of them was anger. I wanted to feel sadness but I was really angry that the widow was left in such a mess. When my Granddad died a similar thing happened. Nobody knew what to do next and it was left to my Mum and her brother to trawl through paperwork and make dozens of phone calls when they should have been grieving. These two episodes, reading Embracing Uncertainty and the recent heart attack of my Nan inspired me to write this post.