Uncomplicate life: Important PSA

Happy mid-August! You’ve made it through 2/3 of a year that you’ll never forget. We are as busy as ever doing our best to keep up yet we do need to take a pause at times and think of the future. Whatever is going on right this minute will pass whether you love it or hate it.

Putting aside all of the social, medical, international, and political issues we are dealing with every day, I know I will never forget this year for another reason that some of you can relate to as well.

2020 is the year that my dear mother passed away. She passed peacefully at home surrounded by her family which is exactly what she wanted. I am so happy we were able to spend as much time together as we did this year in spite of all that has transpired.

While your parents’ death is something that we all have to face at some point in our lives, nothing will prepare you for it. You truly don’t know what it will be like until it happens. And then you join the friends who have already lost their parents in grief solidarity. 

I do want to keep this message positive and cheerful and I want you to benefit from my experience. It has always been my mission to make other people’s lives less complicated and this is no exception.

This will not take 5 minutes but it is worth every second it takes you.

August is National Write Your Will Month but I want you to focus on your parents’ will. Check with your parents and see if they have a will.

This could be awkward and uncomfortable but it is essential. You can even use this message as a way to kick off the conversation. “I read this email by this amazing organizer who talked about her mother’s will. By the way, have you done yours?”

Hopefully they have already written one. Fortunately, my not always organized mother had written her will. It was printed on exquisite paper and carefully labeled in her file cabinet.

However, it had not been notarized. It was written when she lived in another state. We were able to take care of this in time but it was a good lesson in trust but verify. I am not a legal expert but I can tell you that having to deal with NOT having a will at the time of her passing would have added an unnecessary and completely avoidable headache to an already difficult time. 

To continue the conversation and help ease when you will have to deal with this situation in the future, there are other questions you can consider.

While this is certainly not a comprehensive list of what you need to prepare for your parents, it’s a start.
  • Do you have a will?
  • Is it current?
  • Is it legal & notarized?
  • Do you have a financial and medical power of attorney?
  • Do you have an advanced directive?
  • Do you know where you want to be buried?
  • Do you want to be cremated?
  • Is there anything that you want to happen when you  pass away? I’m thinking of scattering ashes or family get together.
  • What do you want to happen to your home/ car/ furniture/ pets/ jewelry?
  • Do you have final charitable gifts you want made?
This is definitely not my favorite uncomplicate and get organized topic. I delayed writing this a few weeks because of its sensitive nature but finally realized this is something that will apply to everyone. If not for your parents, then definitely for yourself. 

Make a note to have some important conversations with your parents. Call an attorney friend and have them refer you to a specialist who can help with your or their will. You won’t regret it and neither will they.

Let’s uncomplicate life where we can.