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Think of Others When Thinking of Life After Death

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Tuesday, August 23, 2022   

Thinking of life after death is daunting, but it might help to think of the lives of your loved ones in the event you are no longer around. Experts say it is one way to get motivated to create a last will and testament.

August is National Make-a-Will Month, yet some seven in 10 Americans currently do not have a will or estate plan.

Jami Coleman, an estate planning attorney in Tallahassee, said for some, it is very difficult to think about.

"When they hear about, 'Oh, let's go draft our will,' they think they are inviting death, and that's not necessarily the case," Coleman pointed out. "What you're doing and one way to think of it is you're getting your affairs in order. Just like you prepare and plan other milestones in your life, this is one that's inevitable, and you should try to plan and prepare for that as well."

Coleman acknowledged it is a lot to try to track down and manage someone's affairs while grieving. She added it often prolongs the grieving process for your loved ones when affairs are not in order. She recommended finding an estate-planning professional who can help think through things like what to do with your assets, as well as creating a living will, which goes into details about whether you would like to be kept alive by artificial means, if incapacitated.

Sam Young, senior director of legacy and planned giving for Compassion & Choices, said having a legal, up-to-date will is a powerful way to protect your loved ones, make important decisions about the future on your own terms, and support the causes you value.

"This is something that is really a critical and essential document for every person to have," Young stressed. "It's something that we want to encourage them and help them complete."

In collaboration with the FreeWill.com to help people get their affairs in order, Compassion & Choices is helping people prepare for the future, right in the comfort of their own home, with a free and easy-to-use online tool. Young stated more than a million people have so far used the free platform to build their legally valid will.

Disclosure: Compassion & Choices contributes to our fund for reporting on Civic Engagement, Health Issues, Senior Issues, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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