Planning for death can be hard. I mean…where DO you start anyway?
Here’s three simple tips to help you get started with your practical end of life preparations.
1) START SMALL. Let’s face it…thinking about our death can be difficult and challenging. Not to mention the emotions that can surface both for ourselves as well as for others. How can we make our task less difficult? Start small-make two lists. One list is what you have done-for instance, people you have thought about that you might want as your POA or Executor (even if you haven’t spoken with them yet).
Your second list has items that you either have questions about or need to put some thought into like an Advanced Care Plan/Living Will or perhaps legal documents for guardianship. Just start the lists. You don’t have to have all the answers.
2) GET CLEAR. What do I mean by this? It could be that you need to touch base with yourself and your values to determine what you would like moving forward. Maybe you aren’t sure if you should have a Will or a Trust-who can you talk to? Do you need to have a conversation with your spouse to determine health care directives, guardianship, thoughts on final disposition? What resources do you have to help you find answers to your queries?
3) REMIND YOURSELF of your ‘why’. This is a lot! Yes, your goal is to have completed paperwork and a ‘plan’ moving forward, but you need to remind yourself that this is a process. This will take time and possibly thinking about ALL the things you need to do to complete this task can create overwhelm which, in turn, causes you to procrastinate even further.
What’s the solution? Break it down.
What can you do today? Set aside 10, 15, 30 minutes.Can you do this every day? Three times a week? A couple of hours each weekend? Whatever it is that feels right for you…and just start. Maybe it’s those lists. Or perhaps it’s an email or one phone call.
We find time to plan for weddings, births, travel…we need to recognize that our end of life planning is a priority too.