On Sunday my girlfriends and I received an e-mail saying that a longtime friend, who is our same age with children the same age as ours, is at home in hospice. This extremely sad announcement has rocked our community. All of our immediate instincts are to be there, in anyway, for our girlfriend, her husband and children.
As we were preparing meals and setting out a calendar to help share the caring burden the conversation kept coming back to what must be going through Kimberly’s mind?
All the plans and dreams she had for her two kids are now… forever… going to be the responsibility of her husband and their parents (both spouses are only children). Who will be the one to be there when their daughter is asked out on her first date or has an upsetting day in middle school? Who will give the more gentle motherly support she has always lent to her younger son after a hard sports game or an upsetting mark on an exam? Who will be there when they come home from school, make them snacks and hear about their days? Who will help arrange play dates, birthday parties or assist with their homework? Who will tuck them in at night when her husband is away on business?
My heart weighs so heavy I can barely type this. No young parent should ever have to think about this. No child should ever loose a parent at such a young age.
I feel it is our responsibility, as parents, to put our wishes into writing and to update them as we learn more about our children, how we would like to see them raised, dreams we have for the success in life and ways we can make the transition to adulthood as positive and easy as possible.
That is why, for over 14 years, I have come to speak, for free, as often as possible at area hospitals, civic groups, playgroups, etc. I want to take the fear out of estate planning. I want parents to be able to ask the questions that they have in a comfortable setting, to someone who advises only with their special demographic, at no cost or with any requirement that they retain my services. I want parents to understand the process and terminology. I want parents to see estate planning as a positive and not a scary or daunting thing to do. I want to make estate planning affordable.
All I ask, at the end of the end of my lectures, is to please consider doing some kind of planning. I am firmly of the belief that estate planning can be done in a stepped fashion and always at the speed my parent clients are comfortable with (taking into consideration the time they have available at the moment and budget as well).
Kimberly does not have a Will, And now, when things are so difficult, she is trying to put her dreams down on paper and the planning into place.
Drafting a Will… is a gift. A gift to our families telling them that we love them and want to make sure that they are taken care of
(financially, physically, emotionally and comprehensively).
I have never had a client say that they regretted putting some wishes down on paper. In fact, everyone of them seem really happy that they did and felt great about the process.