Death and taxes. The two things the old joke says can’t be avoided (and these days I often think the order of those two should be reversed!). No matter how fit we are, how healthy a life style we live, no matter how great our healthcare is, it doesn’t matter. Sooner or later, as the long run economists say, we are all just food for worms.
Yet as I go through life I am constantly amazed at the number of otherwise intelligent, purposeful, organized, deliberate people I meet who simply refuse to prepare for their inevitable demise! Not only young people but people with careers, families and children, investments, property and other assets, even ownership in businesses.
The three main excuses they give are:
- “I’m too young to worry about that.” – Pardon me: does death have an age limit?! An accident can befall anyone at anytime. And I have known several rather young people who were diagnosed with severe illnesses including cancer faaaaaaar earlier than what would be considered “normal” age range to be concerned about.
- “I don’t have a lot of money so it doesn’t matter.” – That’s a very lame excuse. Whether you have $100 or $1 million you must provide some direction how you want what you own distributed when you die. Do not presume the state will give the money to the people you think would get it. In these days it’s likely to be taken by the state until when/if court direction is provided thus requiring your heirs to go to court (more expense). Many just won’t if your estate value is small and you have just made a free gift to the government!
- “I just can’t think about that. It’s so depressing.” – Get over it!!! We are all going to die some day. Not thinking about it won’t stop that day for coming. You don’t have to dwell on it but ignoring it doesn’t make the reality go away.
And what of any people who depend on you in life and will likely be in a tight spot if/when you demise comes? Especially if it’s an untimely/unexpected demise.
Maybe you have a child with special needs.
Maybe you have a sibling who has special needs and you help frequently.
Maybe you have elderly parents or other relatives you are responsible to caring for and seeing to their daily maintenance.
Too many people just assume that a nameless, faceless “somebody” will just waltz up and take over the care and responsibilities they do now when they aren’t there. Or worse, a benevolent government will care about their family and their property as much as they do. Fantasy!
Life without an SHTF event requires just as much thought and preparation for the common events that will happen to all of us sooner or later. An SHTF event may occur. Or it may not. But we all end up in the same place at the end and that is a certainty.
Be prepared for the certainty.
Recently discovered your site and now going through the archives.
You make a good point. My parents are in their middle 50s and are in relatively good shape. I tried talking to them about this topic on several occasions. My fathers response had always been “when I’m dead, you can do whatever you want with everything”. When I try to explain that its not about “everything” but about paperwork problems that my mother will need to be overcome at the worst possible time, he doesn’t want to listen. When I mention the property laws and our wonderful tax code and the fact that his small business will be under State’s control to “do everything IT wants”, he doesn’t want to listen. To me it’s not about the money, it’s the desire not to throw away his years of hard work.