“I will give you a call when I need you.” How often have I heard those words from people who shy away from talking about one of the guarantees of life…death? There are not many things which can be guaranteed but I know of three – one of them is death. (And for those curious – the other two are taxes and change) and yes, I do know Benjamin Franklin said there were only two – but I have always been known to challenge the status quo.
The sad fact of the matter is, you do not know when you are going to die, nor do you know when you are likely to lose your marbles (be it through illness or accident!). Please forgive my glibness for a moment, but the topic of death and people’s mortality is usually met with pursed lips followed by general silence, raised eyebrows, or closed minds; so, one way I choose to tackle this, is head on with a bit of humour, a possible touch of sarcasm, but without exception, a lot of kindness, patience and an absence of judgement.
Back to the opening line… By the time you need me, you are likely to have died, it will be too late for me to help ensure that your son or your daughter actually gets your money – rather than their now ex-spouse whom you were so sure would never be so mean as to chase after the family inheritance; By the time you have lost capacity, it will be too late for me to help with ensuring your chosen loved ones have the power to make decisions on your behalf rather than the Local Authority trying to appoint the official solicitor to do so. All it takes is a conversation to understand what your position is – so that you can have that other guarantee in life…of choice – your choice.