But It May Be Too Late …
So often people are not concerned about getting their affairs in order or rationalising their belongings because they deem that it’s too early to start because they or their folks aren’t old.
Spoiler alert … We all need to keep our belongings under control, no matter what stage of life we are in right now. I don’t suppose anyone out there is guilty of having possessions that are obsolete, broken, unwanted or completely useless? If you said YES, then I don’t mean to burst your bubble … You’re not alone!
Your situation can change in a split second with a stroke, broken bone, heart attack or accident and suddenly a well-ordered home can be thrown into chaos. Families are often faced with making decisions about downsizing or rightsizing their loved one’s possessions right in the midst of a crisis … the very worst time for making logical decisions.
It’s not just about the belongings, but preparation also includes get the legals sorted. By this I mean the Will, Power of Attorney and Advance Care Directive. Everyone over the age of 18 needs to have this paperwork done, even though many of the younger generation fob it off saying, “I don’t have anything worthwhile.”
Yet another alert … The 46% of Australians who don’t have a Will have no idea of the mess that they’ll leave behind if they die without a Will. Sound and healthy they may be, but that doesn’t make them immune from an accident or unexpected circumstance.
A family we know had only one daughter who died of a massive and very unexpected heart attack, aged 41. She died without a Will. 11 years after she died her Mum said to me, “I don’t know why I can’t get over Sally dying.”
As author of Unscrambling Grief, our story of losing two daughters, I explained several things. “Firstly – you don’t get over a daughter dying, you simply get used to it and create a new normal. Secondly, no parent expects their child to die before them. And finally, you haven’t begun to grieve because you’ve been embroiled in 11 years of legal mess.”
Please don’t let that happen. I have several great Estate Planning Lawyers I refer clients to who can prevent this from happening.
So, you can see … It’s never too early to start, but it may be too late.