How often do you ‘spring clean’ or de-clutter your ‘things’? It’s something we all do from time to time, if you’re like me it doesn’t happen too often but once you get started it actually becomes quite adictive and where I may have started out simply clearing a cupboard it has been known to grow into continue sorting the whole room and even the garage or loft space. I find it very therapeutic sorting things in to piles – charity shop, rubbish bin, eBay and even ooh I could use this somewhere else…. once finished I sit back and think ‘I wish I had done that sooner , I feel so much better because the clutter has gone’ .
Let me ask you another question (well two actually); how often do you do the above with your personal affairs and paperwork? Who would know how and where to find all the important ‘stuff’ they would need to know if you were no longer here?
A recent survey carried out for ‘The Dying Matters Coalition’ revealed that although 64% of people questioned said they were comfortable talking about death only 35% had actually made a Will or put plans in place. That’s quite a shortfall between saying and doing. So what are you going to do about it? Sadly, dying is not just the domain of the sick and elderly, none of us know what is around the corner as the recent terrorist attacks have painfully shown us. No matter what your age if anything was to happen to you would your loved ones know what to do with you, your business, your children, your pets? Something parents of a young family should definitely consider.
There is never a better time than the present to start getting organised. The most simplest way to do so is gather all your important documents together; insurance, pensions, bank statements, details of your Will etc, safely disposing of out of date paperwork then pop the remainder in a box file together with a list of main contacts your family may need then TELL them where they can find it. Job done you may think, but have you really sorted everything or is your head still cluttered with information you should be sharing?
If you have ever been in the situation of having to have dealt with the death of a parent or close relative, unless they themselves were super-efficient and organised chances are you found yourself having to hunt (sometimes fruitlessly) for information and second guess what they would have liked you to do. Wouldn’t it make you feel so much happier if you could avoid your own family going through that same stressful experience. So, what’s stopping you? Maybe your family aren’t happy talking about death, no problem, make a plan and write it down*. Imagine you are just stepping away from your life – taking a break away for a while, somewhere remote with no telephone or internet connection. What details about your house, your work, your affairs would someone need to know in order to take over the smooth running of your life – this is exactly the information you should be detailing. Have you thought about your funeral,? What on-line presence do you have? What memberships do you hold and where? Who holds spare keys to your house? How do they access your contacts on your phone?
It will take a while to work through but just like clearing out your ‘things’ once its done you can relax and get on with living and enjoying your life knowing that your affairs are in order and you are leaving your family well equipped to tackle that inevitable ‘to do’ list they will have after you have gone.
*In addition to working with bereaved families helping with the practical tasks that need to be done Lin also helps people think about and document detailed information they should leave behind to complement their Will using the workbook ‘Planning For Life After You’ available from www.worthyconclusions.co.uk For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org