Morbid thought isn’t it? Imagine you died.
A large part of our business inspiration was to help people. In this case we want to help them avoid the heartache that disorganisation can cause in the case of an emergency or accident.
I want to share a story with you.
In September last year my friend Kristine lost her brother Jeff in a tragic paragliding accident. Today I with her permission and blessing I want to share the heart-breaking aftermath of such a tragedy.
Here are some of the thoughts she was sharing with her friends and family in the weeks after she lost Jeff.
You can feel the pain and anguish leaping off the screen at you can’t you?
There are many more posts like this but I really don’t want to depress you further.
As I sat down to write this post I asked Kristine if she would like to contribute, this is what she had to say.
Losing someone in your life is never a good experience, whether you were expecting it or not. I had lost my grandparents before this, but this was nothing like it. We like to hope by a certain age; we have our life affairs in order.
Sometimes this happens, sometimes it doesn’t.
It is NEVER too soon to have your life organised and your personal affairs in order. Once you have moved out of your childhood home, it’s time to be responsible and get it done. It is even more important once you get married or become common-law. And it is imperative if you have children.
When my brother died it was shocking. It was horrible. My parents and I convened in the town where he lived, and began the process of dealing with it. Some things were easy and you just did them. The funeral home had a wonderful guide to help you know what to do. My parents were inconsolable, which left me to be the decision maker, phone caller, planner and so many other roles.
We managed. We got through the initial days and preparations. Except in the middle of all that we worried, about things we couldn’t do, couldn’t access, couldn’t open or close……Facebook, email, bank accounts, and insurance policies. Jeff wasn’t disorganised, but he wasn’t organised.
Then we tried to deal with his estate and affairs. We had little to go on sometimes, which is when we realised how much you have to have a list, a book, a safety deposit box, or ANYTHING like it. Your Skype name and account doesn’t matter, but your banking details (especially online) and accounts do.
We eventually sifted through enough emails, paperwork, and the like to get the places we needed to contact. But we had to hire a lawyer to help deal with the companies, banks,etc. Jeff didn’t have a will, hadn’t appointed an executor of his estate or left any kind of paperwork about it. We had to apply to become administrators of his estate, which took time and money.
It eventually all fell into place and got dealt with, but in our family of “do-ers”, it took a lot of time and energy that quite frankly, we didn’t really have during those first fragile months.
Really my point is that by having the correct paperwork in place, you can rest easy that if the very worst should happen to you that at least you have made it as easy as possible for those left behind dealing with your affairs. They will appreciate it more than you will ever know.
As Kristine has pointed out if you take a little bit of time now to plan ahead and get organised you can save hours of heartache and anguish for those left behind.
Don’t leave your loved ones a legacy of a lifetime’s worth of papers crammed into file cabinets, envelopes, and shoe boxes, take some time to consider an easy to use system.
So now that we have started you all thinking I hope you are all off to find the nearest Solicitor so you can get a Will made (if you don’t have one already). Great! A Will is the most important thing you could prepare.
But we think it is more involved than that. What about all the everyday decisions and everyday jobs like paying bills and checking emails?
Think about it this way;
- At this very second do you know what needs to be paid?
- Could you easily locate all your tax paperwork as EOFY approaches?
- Do you know where your insurances are and when they are due?
- Who needs to be called or emailed?
- Or even what events need to be RSVP’d to or preparations made for the kids at school.
Now I don’t claim to be a psychiatrist or child psychologist but I imagine keeping routines simple and familiar in these circumstances would be beneficial, especially to children. Being organised enough that in your absence someone else could maintain everyday routines in a consistent way could make a huge difference. Taking comfort that an overdue electricity bill won’t surprise you or if it did that you could quickly deal with it.
So this post has been all doom and gloom highlighting the PROBLEM, well we want to help you with SOLUTIONS so please take some time to digest all this and meet me back here next week when we will outline some simple solutions that can help you feel better about that dreaded ‘WHAT IF…
P.S I mentioned last week that I would write another case study about how to prepare for a digital photo filing project but time, sick Miss 3 and now sick Mrs Me has got the better of me. I am heading back to bed to recuperate. I will have to owe you that post another time.