I haven’t written in a while and, in short, the motivation has been lacking. Now, I’m back at the keyboard to write about a sensitive issue: “death”. We all face it; we all will experience it. It may be with a sibling, child, spouse or loved one. Personally, I have lost friends, relatives and pets. What surprises me most is how the various losses affected me.
For instance, when a close friend and mentor passed away I was able to stay emotionally controlled, make intelligent decisions and even provide a very thoughtful eulogy. When my cat (Bradford) recently died I turned into a worthless piece of goo that couldn’t even talk on the phone.
I’m not saying that I loved Bradford more than my friend. And to be frank, I fully expected to have a similar emotional experience. But, that couldn’t have been farther from what happened. How the death of someone close affects us varies. There is no one reason for the variations, but the effects can range from a downer for the day to debilitating.
With my friend, his wife had to deal with the post death details. With Bradford, I had to decide who got his favorite squeaky-mouse: his sister who he had a love/hate relationship with, the neighbor’s cat who hung out at our place all the time or donate it to a needy cat at the SPCA. His used litter box was an easy decision, but we never had discussed what his wishes were. After returning from the vet with the bad news, we still had a day but that was not how either of us wanted to spend it. If only he had had a will.
Fortunately, I didn’t have to go through probate with Bradford’s assets. And, I couldn’t imagine what it would have been like to try and make important decisions when I was emotional goo. I have always told friends and clients that they must have a will and it has always amazed me how many don’t. There are dozens of on-line will making apps such as: Quicken Willmaker Plus, Will Writer, LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer. If you are not a do-it-yourselfer than an attorney can write you a will for a few hundred dollars.
Bradford was a great cat even though he didn’t have a will. Hopefully you are better than my cat and have one. If you don’t, make it a priority.