One of the best parts about doing the work that our firm does is that we get to help people evaluate their priorities and define for themselves what is truly important. Sometimes it’s too easy to get caught up in the day-to-day stresses and activities and to lose sight of what your true focus is. In the concerns of the ordinary it’s easy to forget to pay attention to the extraordinary.
It may not sound appealing, but planning for your death makes you take a look at life from a very different point of view. Take the typical To-Do list, for example. Most people have a To-Do list filled with tasks such as “pay the bills” or “wash the car”, but don’t these lists evoke a feeling of heavy obligation rather than pleasant anticipation? If you were to take your list of Things to Do and add onto the end of it “Before I Die”, how would that change your list? Recall the recent movie, “The Bucket List” and the fun that Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman had together in what each thought was the last weeks of their lives.
This is a large part of what estate planning is all about. It’s about separating the wheat from the chaff, about evaluating your life, realizing what is truly important, and planning to accomplish and protect those things of value.
Of course, nobody can live every minute in this state of heightened awareness. The bills do need to be paid and the car does need to be washed. But as you make that list of ordinary To-Do’s each morning try to include one thing that brings you closer to your extraordinary goal. Keeping the big picture in mind can give you perspective, and keep you focused on what’s really important. Make your own “To Do” list one that will bring you a sense of pleasant anticipation at the dawn of each day, and of peace and contentment when you turn the final page.