If you’re anything like me, there are times when you’d rather put off solving a problem than deal with it immediately. But the problem may become even more difficult if that elephant in the room is avoided.
Legacy, estate, and end-of-life planning are topics that many people choose to ignore or minimize. The consequences of doing nothing can be severe. I know.
When my elderly, widowed aunt passed away without leaving behind current legal documents or advanced directives, my family was left with a terrible mess to clean up. After her untimely death, years of grief, financial difficulties, and intense family distress followed. What a tragic final gift she gave her family. Certainly not a positive legacy.
I wanted to bring fresh attention to this pressing issue, so I wrote the poem below. Be sure to look at the helpful checklist mentioned at the end of the poem as well.
We all know we'll meet our end But with silence we pretend That’s not our fate, won’t happen to us We push it aside with little fuss.
Tiptoeing around the pachyderm To skirt the end-of-life alarm Wills, trusts, and directives Decisions wise but often postponed
Yet, the elephant looms large and tall Its presence felt by one and all We hope she’ll pass on by But death comes, we can’t deny.
Some wait till their final breath Leaving loved ones to face death Without a will or care directive The aftermath can be quite hectic.
It's time to confront the elephant To plan for the inevitable event Making decisions that ease the pain And help loved ones who remain.
Estate planning's more than legal docs It's your stories, experiences, and hopes Legacy writing's a gift you can share That lasts beyond and shows you care.
Our legacy is more than money and things It's values we hold and memories we bring Lessons we teach and dreams we share The mark we leave on the world with care.
Don’t cause heartache, stress, and strife Or a financial mess afterlife Take control of what you can And give loved ones a sound plan.
Before life's final curtain falls Embrace this checklist, heed its calls Effective planning is a must To grant loved ones peace, security, and trust.
If you haven’t yet started organizing your legal documents, I hope this poem will help motivate you to just do it. It’s really not a matter you can keep putting off indefinitely.
What steps have you taken to address this issue that is often the elephant in the room? Which end-of-life, legacy, and estate planning actions have you completed? What do you want to do next? What else do you think should be on the checklist?
Tags End of Life Planning