We all are. As I stated in my guide Mindfulness for Mere Mortals:
Right now, you are both living and dying. Everything that is living is, with each passing moment, also progressing towards death. As such, every moment more you live you also move closer to death. Each moment you are both living and dying. Both are active states within you and all living things.
With this being the case, perhaps the only universal truth, why do we suck at planning for it.
It’s coming. For each and every one of us. We don’t know when or how or where we will be. Yet, it is certain.
Forget about “getting hit by a bus” or any other proverbial sudden fatality. What about that routine doctor’s visit that leads to a biopsy which leads to someone telling you you have not months but weeks or days? Happens more often than you think. Not just to the old. I know of someone who passed at age 27 feeling in perfect health less than a month before.
I’ve stated before, Dying is about you. Death is about those you leave behind. When it comes and you have not prepared, those you love are left to clean up the mess. No will? Well, your spouse/partner/children/next-of-kin are in for a lesson in probate law and a fair amount of legal expenses. Have a bunch of debt? Well, those you leave may be on the hook for it if your estate has not been properly planned. All of this burden on top of the grief and pain they must work through. Do you really want that?
Listen, I know it’s a pain and you have no idea where to start. It’s easy. We live in an age with search engines. Most of the information out there is good enough. For instance, Nolo.com has a good primer on writing a will and Lifehacker, of all places, has a good guide on preparing for death.
Seriously, make this a priority. Properly planning for death will make the life of everyone you love that much easier.
Note: Roger Bennett wrote to me after reading this to add: Recently retired from the practice of law, focusing on Elder Law. Over age 60 or disabled (assuming U.S.), one should consider consulting a member of NAELA, (get a CELA for extra assurance), for estate planning.