My oldest incomplete task is updating my personal will. It has been sitting in my Microsoft Outlook taskbar since April of 2014. It has greeted me on an almost daily basis and is highlighted in red because it is overdue. I generally do not procrastinate with other things in my life, so why this task? What makes this procrastination worthy? It became a goal during quarantine to finally update my will.
I’ve found over my 20+ year career in insurance that some of the most critical discussions about coverage and personal protection are often the most difficult sales to close. Life insurance requires a discussion about our mortality that is often more personal and intimate than we care to get with each other. Considering a what-if or worst-case-scenario are discussions that are easily placed on the back burner. It is not that we think they are unimportant or unworthy of planning, but the sense of urgency is limited at best. And so, we add it to our long-term planning where it quickly gets buried beneath our busy day to day decisions and clutter.
When the coronavirus pandemic hit and life seemed to take a dramatic turn to a more isolated lifestyle, I suddenly found myself having more time on my hands. The more time I spent at home, the more I ran into the to-do list that I’ve been putting off. I also had a greater desire to chip away at some of these items for some reason. Although I didn’t have fears about COVID-19 and its effect on my mortality, I did have a greater sensitivity to plan in general. I wanted to “button things up” so that my desires and intentions were clear to my spouse and kids.
My will was outdated. In 1997 my wife and I had each created a will. At that time, we had been married for several years, and our second child had been born. Life was a different kind of busy back then, juggling a new career, purchasing our first home, two (and eventually three) children, etc. It was clear we needed to plan for our children’s sake; but so much has happened since then. We’ve moved to another house, paid (and are still paying) for college, purchased a business, and our kids are all now legal adults.
I’m pleased to say that my wife and I took the time during the coronavirus pandemic to meet with our attorney and update our wills. The process of updating the will achieved several things. We were able to state our wishes for how the estate will be distributed, including charities that are special to us. We also discussed the impact our deaths might have on our kids and grandkids. We even included a Power of Attorney and Advance Directives (living will) in the process to further remove any burdens from our loved ones. Lastly, we’ve taken the time to update our information in Everplans®* so that our financial and legal affairs are well documented and easy to access. It feels good to be able to check this quarantine goal off my to-do list, once and for all.
Would you also like to have peace of mind with an Everplans® account, a life insurance policy, and a will? Please contact FIFS to set these tasks in motion. We can help you with life insurance and Everplans® and refer you to a law firm that can help you draft a will of your own.
*Everplans® is a complimentary benefit for all FIFS clients. It provides guides, resources, and a platform to help you create a plan that contains everything your loved ones will need if something happens to you. Contact us today to learn more about accessing this resource.