Peter Boys

Five things to consider doing before you die

Simple suggestions what we should do either with or for our families

By Peter Boys, CAFA

The Financial Coach

We are all guilty of putting off talking about touchy feeling things with our spouse and children. We get busy with the activities of earning a living and all the other things that take up our days. Here are five simple suggestions of things we should do either with or for our families before we leave this mortal world. None of us will take any of our worldly possessions with us other than the clothes on our back.

Tell your family your wishes as to the disposition of your estate

It’s often been said before, none of us can read minds, and we don’t know what we don’t know. You may have several good reasons for the unequal treatment of your family members in your will (such as an heir with a disability). If you don’t explain your reasons though, unequal treatment of those left behind can be construed as being “unloved”. Before you put the final touches to your estate documents, let your family members know what you intend to do, and work out any of the issues. You can’t explain your intentions after you are gone.

Pay for a family vacation

Travel brings people out of their comfort zone and creates interaction that would otherwise never occur. It may not be all love and honey – family dynamics are what they are – but you may be pleasantly surprised at what happens when your adult children and their families interact outside of their day-to-day lives. It doesn’t have to be an African safari (although those are great if you can afford it). Just make it two nights or longer at a place that’s away from anyone’s family home or cottage. If family can drop all plans and attend your funeral (they surely will), they can create time for a family trip before this happens.

Give some gifts during your lifetime

We all know the saying “you can’t take it with you.” As much as we believe it, it can be hard to act on it. We (secretly) think we’ll live forever. We won’t. Get the joy from sharing now. So as the song says, “let it go”, or at least let some of it go. If you have surplus wealth, or surplus assets of value such as artwork that will never fit in a newly downsized space, share things now rather than after you’re gone.

Record some early memories

We all have likely experienced this at a family gathering. You tell a simple fact about your early life and someone says: “I never knew you spent a summer in New York City.” It shouldn’t surprise any of us as our adult children can’t possibly know about the 30 or 40 years of our lives before they were born unless we talk about them.

Tell your family what your funeral intentions are: It’s a hotly debated question: is a funeral for the living or for the dead? In most cases, it’s for both. It makes sense to put some thought into what you envision for your funeral and then talk to your family to work towards a plan that everyone can agree on. Your family will want to honour your wishes but can’t if they don’t know what they are. There are different levels of pre-planning, both formal and informal, but having yours and your families wishes documented can go a long way toward a smooth process at a difficult time.

Just Posted

Come see Stettler’s Diary of Anne Frank and learn important “lessons from the past”

The Diary of Anne Frank from Feb. 21 to 23 at the Performing Arts Centre

Stettler’s Scotties tournament set a new standard

Chair of curling tournament committee says rural Alberta can host biggest events

Come out to a family-friendly St. Patrick’s Day dance in Botha

Don’t miss the big green bash in Botha Feb. 24

Tickets still available for Stettler County Community Service Awards

42nd annual community service awards at Linda Hall Feb. 21

Lacombe welcomes ‘Napalm Girl’ to discuss journey from hatred to forgiveness

Latest Herr Lecture to feature Kim Phuc Phan Thi at LMC

Millennial men least likely to have a family doctor: Statistics Canada

Report found more women have primary care physicians, compared with men

Alberta to play for gold in wheelchair basketball

Action-packed first week of Canada Winter Games nearly a wrap

Boxers claim two silver medals for Alberta in wild night

Cole Brander of Edmonton fought for the gold medal against Avery Martin-Duval of Quebec

70% of Canadians agree with mandatory vaccines for children: poll

The debate for pro and anti vaccinations has heated up after a measles outbreak in Vancouver

‘A little baloney’ in PM’s claim about solicitor-client privilege on SNC-Lavalin

The Conservatives and NDP want Trudeau to waive that privilege so Wilson-Raybould can offer her side of the story

Proposed edible pot rules are wasteful, would leave products tasteless: critics

When Canada legalized weed last fall, it only allowed fresh or dried bud, oil, plants and seeds

Most Read