Jack has died. His lawyer is standing before the family and reads out Jack’s Last Will and Testament.
“To my dear wife Esther, I leave the house, 50 acres of land, and 1 million dollars.
To my son Barry, I leave my Big Lexus and the Jaguar.
To my daughter Suzy, I leave my yacht and $250,000.
And to my brother-in-law Jeff, who always insisted that health is better than wealth, I leave my sun lamp.”
Perhaps one of the most melancholy tasks to do in life than preparing last wills and testaments. You know, that little piece of paper that states who you want to leave what to when you die?
Making decisions about what happens to everything you’ve worked so hard to acquire upon your death can be both easy and difficult.
It was easy for me to decide to leave everything to my wife if I should pass on before she does – that’s pretty typical for any married couple.
But with no children currently or in our future, you have to leave it to someone, and that’s where it becomes more challenging – for me at least.
This process has sadly reminded me of something I probably think about more than I’d like to admit – my estrangement from my family.
Oftentimes it’s a reality which leaves me feeling empty and alone. Now having to choose how I’d like my worldly possessions to be divided after my demise is causing me great anxiety and unforeseen sadness.
While I understand that I’ll be dead, and whatever happens to my estate is utterly unimportant by then, it’s still a reminder of a wound that’s not impossible to mend, but highly unlikely to occur.
Questions begin to arise: do you leave an inheritance to people who no longer provide meaning to your life? Do you overlook the personal persecution you’ve endured to do what you feel is right in your heart?
I’m going to assume that being “dead” would be the bigger disappointment than how all my money will be dispersed. For all I know, I’ll have spent all my money and there won’t be a penny left for anyone! You just never know.
But no matter how you look at it, last wills and testaments make you think about an unpleasant subject and the people who are no longer in our lives.
In the end, what we all should be focused on each and every day is what are we leaving the people who are a part of our lives right now – not when we’re dead.