I recently had a conversation with a friend and mother-to-be.
Me: Do you have an estate plan in place?
Her: *insert confused look* Why? I may look like death, but that’s only because I’m having trouble sleeping. I’m not dying.
Me: Yes, you’re not dying now. But, it’s good to have a plan in place before you do.
Her: But, I’m still young! I’m not planning on dying for decades from now.
Let me preface this by saying that I am not a morbid person, nor am I the type of person to continuously nag anyone about my legal services. Whenever I mention estate planning to my friends or family, it’s more of a reminder to those I care about after a life-changing event occurs, like a serious illness, death, marriage, pregnancy, etc. The response is usually the same as above. They all equate estate planning with death.
To me, estate planning is more than preparing for death. It also includes being responsible for your life and the lives of your family members. When we think of death, everyone imagines or hopes that they will live a long and healthy life. But, that isn’t the reality for many people in today’s changing society. With the increase of violence, cancer diagnoses, and vehicular homicides due to texting while driving, more people are either dying at a younger age or becoming disabled for decades before they die as a result.
No one plans on dying. But, life, and a healthy one at that, isn’t guaranteed, either. It’s important to get a basic estate plan in place as soon as possible after you’ve become an adult.