Why Is It So Hard To Talk About Death?

I met today with an estate attorney to review our wills. My husband wouldn’t come. He just doesn’t like to talk about ‘those things’. He says it depresses him. He doesn’t understand why it’s so important to me.

Why?  Because every woman over the age of 55 is terrified about having enough money when we’re old and can’t work anymore. Those stories from a million years ago about old ladies eating cat food must have stuck in all of our sub-conscious minds.

Last Will and TestamentWhen you do your will, the hardest thing is figuring out who will take care of things if both you and your spouse die at the same time. The hardest part is naming a trustee or executor. It’s a crappy job to meet with lawyers and deal with all our stuff so we didn’t want to burden any of our friends. But they do get paid out of the estate and in a way it’s kind of an honor.

There were a few times that the attorney had to repeat her explanations about trusts, pensions, advanced directives, but all in all I was able to comprehend the basics. And she called my husband on the phone and someone was able to get him to discuss things that he never wanted to go over with me–including where he wanted to be buried.

Sometimes a stranger in a position of authority can make all the difference.

If you haven’t done a will, you really need to do this. And if you’ve done your wills seven years ago like us, it’s time to review them.  It literally took one hour and I left there feeling much better. When you take control of even a tiny part of your life, you find it has a domino effect.  I now have a new CPA, have scheduled my long overdue mammogram, and applied for long term disability insurance.

It may seem like small potatoes, but when you tackle just a couple of these things at a time…you start to ever so slowly begin to exhale. How great is that?

by Madelyn Hammond

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