Chances are you have seen the Serenity Prayer:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
Courage to change the things I can
And wisdom to know the difference.
It’s hard to accept what we cannot change, and one of those things is our own mortality.
No one wants to think about their own chances of being incapacitated or of dying. But look around you: this stuff happens, and we can’t control it. People get in accidents. Friends and family members are diagnosed with medical issues.
We always think these things happen to someone else, but someone has to BE that someone else.
It’s unpleasant to think about, no doubt. We all like to think that these things won’t happen to us: we are too careful when crossing the street, we eat right and exercise, we don’t have a family history of this or that disease. The reality is that we don’t control these things.
But we can control some things, and estate planning is part of that process. When you get an estate plan - powers of attorney so the person of your choice can take care of you if you’re incapacitated, a will and/or a trust to ensure that your assets go where you’d like them to go after you die - you are controlling what you can control. We will all die one day. But we can all make things easier on those we leave behind.