It’s not often you go 30 years or more between activities.
Last month, Terrie and I put the finishing touches on the legal documents that will ensure our final wishes are carried out. Last will and testament, health care power of attorney, financial power of attorney, living will, advance directives, do not resuscitate. You name it, we signed it.
We made the requisite morbid jokes as things were explained, but to be honest, this is sobering stuff. The first time I made a will I was 27; I had recently bought a house with my first wife and it seemed the “adult” thing to do. It wasn’t real.
This time around, of course, it was six months after my mom’s death and I’ve lost not just relatives in recent years, but friends. Oh, it’s real.
Coincidentally, in 2016 and 2017, I did a fair amount of writing at my previous job about advance care directives and the importance of having them. What it comes down to is being able to dictate how you leave and not leaving the burden of decision-making to others. If I wind up in a coma, I would not want to put pressure on my wife or children to make any decisions. These advance care directives lay out your wishes very clearly.
So my advice is take care of business now. Was it unsettling in the moment to deal with? Sure. Did I squirrel them them away and hope to not see them again for years if at all? Yup. Am I glad they’re done? Let’s just say I’m glad I had the will.