In last week’s article, we discussed the importance of having a will. I shared survey statistics on who has a will. As expected, a person 50 or older is more likely to have a will than a younger person who believes they are going to live until their 80s or 90s. For this younger age group, the belief is having a will isn’t necessary until much later in life. And besides, creating a will is just not one of those fun activities you joyfully add to your to-do list.
I personally experienced how important having a will is regardless of your age. My nephew, Shayne, died in a house fire at the age of 32 and almost everything in his house was either destroyed by the fire or covered in soot. Not only were we dealing with the grief of losing Shayne, but also the daunting …
task of settling his estate, a task made more difficult due to the condition of his personal records and possessions. Because Shayne lived within walking distance of his grandparents’ home, his burnt house was a daily reminder of his death. If Shayne had created a will, the settling of his estate would not have taken over 9 months to finalize which included being able to tear down his house.
Shayne’s tragic death was the catalyst for me to start a business, Strategic Hourglass Solutions, which focuses on Legacy Planning. The difficult task of going through Shayne’s paperwork and possessions prompted me to write the ‘Lifetime Legacy Planner’ and to dedicate it to him. It guides you through 10 important chapters designed to document your personal information, your assets and liabilities, the location of your important papers, the distribution of your assets, and your final wishes so they are carried out and respected at the time of your passing. Each chapter begins with a true story (some funny, some sad) that emphasizes the need for having your affairs in order. You can read all 10 of the chapter stories here on the website.
Our mission is: “To educate others on the importance of Legacy Planning by starting the conversations on topics such as moving, downsizing, disability and death. Because sooner or later, we all run out of time …”
In conclusion, over twenty years ago my brother Kevin also died at the age of 32 due to a ditch cave-in. Never would any of us imagined we would lose two family members at such a young age. Now is the time to create your will!
Do you have a will? Will your estate be easy or difficult for your family and friends to settle during their time of grief? Have you documented your wishes so your legacy is preserved?