“You and Andrew talk more about death than anyone I’ve ever met,” my sister-in-law quipped after a recent exchange.
Andrew’s sister and her husband, who hail from the NYC area, recently bought their own condo near ours in Mexico. What a treat to be able to see them more frequently than our annual Marks family beach vacation each summer!
Maybe it is because I am aging, or maybe it is my line of work, but I definitely find myself examining my own mortality more frequently and philosophically. Many folks find it morbid, even weird, to contemplate one’s own death, especially when they are healthy and relatively young. (I’m told that 50 is the new 30!)
Perhaps because I talk about death everyday with clients, I have become a bit desensitized to the subject. But I’m always a bit surprised about how many folks are “deathly” afraid to talk about death.
I think about death, however, not in a morbid way. My thoughts about death are not to elicit sadness or fear. I think about death as a way to help me clarify how I want to live my life now.
The flip side of death is living life.
So, here’s the philosophical question I posed to my husband and sister-in-law recently:
If you were going to die in a year, how do you want to live your life between now and dead?
I know, it’s an “in your face” question for a reason.
YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS AND THERE IS NO GUARANTEE ABOUT YOUR TOMORROW.
In light of that evident truth, how DO you want to live your life TODAY?
Sure, I can come up with my “bucket list” of things I want to do and places I want to visit before I die.
But, just as importantly, I also want to discern HOW I want to be living my life every day. What are my guiding values on living?
Some of MY guiding principles are living PURPOSEFULLY, EASEFULLY, DELIGHTFULLY and SIMPLY.
No doubt you will have your own list of guiding principles which are different from mine.
My point is this: How often do you or your friends and family LIVE LIFE ON PURPOSE, instead of just going through the motions?
In our meetings with our Florida estate planning clients, we ask lots of questions to try to get to the heart of the matter. What do our clients want to do with their estate plans and why? How do they want to structure their estate plans to take care of their loved ones?
The more we, as their estate planning advisors, understand our client’s priorities, values, and planning goals, the more effectively we can assist them in crafting their estate plans to provide them with peace of mind and help them get on with living their own lives on purpose.
If you’re ready to discuss your own estate planning vision, you can schedule a new estate planning strategy session online with one of our attorneys here or by calling our office: 850-439-1191.
We also offer free 10 minute Q & A calls if you want to learn more about us or our estate planning design process.
So, yeah, I guess I do talk and think about death more than anyone else you probably know. But, my life has become even more enriched because of it. And I bet yours will too if you take some time to discover your own guiding principles on how you want to live your (BEST!) life.
Kristen “Let’s Talk About Death!” Marks
P.S. On a sad note, one of my daughter’s friends was recently in a serious accident and has been fighting for her life in ICU. Like many young adults, she does not have health insurance. She has a Go Fund Me page to raise money for her astronomical medical bills. Even a $10-$20 donation would be super helpful.