Letter of Direction – what is it and how can it help you?
“The traffic lights of life are very rarely green at the same time.” – Tim Ferriss
He’s not kidding. If we wait for those green lights, we will be waiting a long time.
13 years ago today my father passed away from mesothelioma, asbestos cancer.
Why is the topic of death and dying so rarely discussed?
You would think that by now we would be smarter and realize that the more we push the conversation away, the more it NEEDS to be dealt with. The fear. The sadness. The anger. The tears. The alone-ness. The confusion around what to do now.
It helps me to talk about it. It helps me to cope with my feelings and my thoughts if I can get them out of my head and out into the universe so they can float around and take flight and move away from me. The negative emotions.
The lightness comes back to me when I release.
Living through several deaths in my life already: all sets of grandparents, 2 uncles, 1 aunt, a childhood friend, 2 co workers, 2 cousins, my father, Thomas’ mom and dad, one of my best friends… that’s a lot of loss.
That’s a lot of grief.
That’s not even taking into consideration friends of friends, parents of friends, siblings of friends.
After the death of my father, I started to look at my life differently.
Taking a little better care of myself. Telling those I love that I love them. Appreciating my time more. Sharing myself more. Allowing others to do things for me, and accepting it. Before I had a hard time accepting gifts and accepting love. Now I work on that (gingerly) with myself and accept a lot more than I ever have.
I also started to think more logistically.
When I die, hopefully a lonnnnng time from now but IF something were to happen and I were to kick it sooner than anticipated, what would Thomas know to do about my financial life? He lives in Sweden and I have a pension in the US and an IRA in the US. He knows nothing about those sorts of things since he lives in Sweden. Does he even know who to contact? Does he know where to look for my documents?
What if you were to die sooner than anticipated?
Would your family or loved ones know where to find your information? Would they know where your bank accounts are? What your account numbers are? Where the deed to your home lies? Where the title to your vehicle is? Do you have Life Insurance? If so, who is it with and whats the contact name? Do you have loans? Credit cards? Every company needs to be contacted to advise that there has been a death.
This is where a Letter of Direction is helpful. I love things like this because I like to prepare for the JUST IN CASE in life.
I have found the more I prepare, the less things happen.
I was introduced to the Letter of Direction by my friend Sandy in the US. I have it as a scanned document on my computer, if you want a copy of it. Just let me know and I will email it to you.
I shared this document with everyone I knew at that time. Its so important to think through these things and to have it as a working document because accounts change all the time, banks and account numbers change, credit card numbers change, all of it.
Think about it. Take some time to sit and actually think about how YOUR life would be made easier if your spouse or partner or sister and brother or mom or dad did something like this so everything is in one place and easy to access IF and WHEN the dreaded day occurs.
This is not meant to be depressing it is meant to HELP you to think. Be smart. Plan ahead. Help the people who are left behind that have to deal with your life. There is even information on your funeral. Do you want to be buried? Cremated? How do you want your funeral set up.
I would not hesitate to guess that 99% of all families do not have these tough conversations.
Once the document is filled in, then its done. That’s it. Unless you want to make a change to it. You keep it in a safe place and let someone else know (that you trust) where it is kept so they can get the information, if and when needed.
Let me know if you want a copy of it. I would be happy to send it to you via email.
A piece of mind….