Can Preparing for Death Actually Help You Live Better?


Today (Halloween) is a holiday with a rich backstory. A quick skim of the Wikipedia page on Halloween reveals a number of traditions celebrating today (and the few days that follow) as a way to honor the memories of our loved ones who have died. The timing of Abundance NC's annual Death Faire (this year, November 3 in Pittsboro) is not coincidental. They offer this event as "an attempt at changing our culture around death, dying, and ultimately living well."

I've been trudging through the slippery yet sticky and intensely personal yet also universal human experience of grief myself these past few months. During this time, I've been reflecting more and more about how my work involves my clients' grieving (in advance) for their own deaths. It's obvious and yet it bears reemphasis for clarity: in order to write your will, you have to accept that you will die one day.

There is no one "right" way to accept this fact. However, a particularly moving and powerful way to face the inevitability of your own demise in the estate planning process is to make it about reflecting and celebrating the life you are living and those you are living it with. Don't allow it to be focused only on the "cold hard facts" of your death and your property. If you make it into a planned celebration of your legacy - that is, the culmination of the totality of your life's works - you might just find yourself living better now because of it.

Want to know more about how to make your estate plan a stepping stone towards living well? Contact me.