PART 1 – FEAR OF DEATH
“Fear is a four-letter word, gentlemen!”
– Calhoun from “Wreck-It Ralph”
FEAR – Future Events Appear Real. I love that acronym because in moments of fear it helps me realize the worst things I imagine are only that – my imagination. And, when I realize the worst thing I have imagined only appears real, I can more easily slide past the emotion of fear and move on with life. Because, for the most part, the worst things I imagine rarely ever happen.
There is, however, one future event I know will happen, someday – I will die. That event does not just appear real it is real for me, as well as for everyone else in the world. The only unknown in that future event is how. But, regardless of how it happens, it will happen, and the only thing I can do about it is prepare and, in the meantime, live!
“Every man dies, but not every man ever truly lives.”
– William Wallace from “Braveheart”
Ironically, the vast majority of people do little or nothing (legally, spiritually, and/or physically) to prepare for death. According to the AARP, sixty percent (60%) of Americans do not have a will. Why? The fear of death. Yet, when asked, most people fear not living even more. One thing that prevents people from truly living is not knowing what will happen to their family if something happened to them. And, that’s why I love my what I do – I get to help people live by providing peace of mind.
As an estate planning attorney, my job (i.e. the day to day work) is pretty simple – I listen to people talk about their wishes concerning death and dying; I counsel them about the legal aspects (in Colorado) of death and dying; and I draft the appropriate documents (i.e. wills, trusts, powers of attorney, etc.) to reflect their wishes. That’s the end-product most people think about when it comes to estate planning – the documents.
The real end-product is not just a set of inked papers. Rather, when people complete their estate plans, they leave my office visibly lighter than when they arrived because they know and have planned what will happen if/when something happens to them. You see estate planning leads to knowing, and knowing leads to peace of mind (i.e. the opposite of fear). Peace of mind weighs nothing, is priceless, and is what allows people to truly live.
So, if you fear death, do not worry, for you are among friends! But, if you are letting that fear stop you from doing your own estate planning, then make an appointment with me so I can help you live!