A few months ago I was boarding an airplane to Mexico with my husband…without our daughter, who at the time was 10 months old. Until that point, I had not been away from my daughter for more than a few hours. I dreamed about sleeping in, but I cried at the thought of leaving her. I was also thinking about how my husband and I would be on the plane together. Should something terrible happen, I had nothing written down to protect my daughter and assets. No one would know our wishes.
I have been working in the not-for profit field since 2008, specifically in Planned Giving, which is all about getting your Will and Powers of Attorney done and reaping the benefits of leaving a gift in your Will to a charity. So I know better. I know the process to get these legal documents done. But like so many Canadians (50% of whom do not have a Will), I pushed those thoughts away until I had a plane ticket and was forced to think about the “what if?”
I called a lawyer. I was anxious. I had the tough conversation to plan for when I’m gone. I had a week to sort out with my husband who our house, savings and other assets would be left to and who would become the guardian to our little girl. The thought of someone else – no matter how wonderful a person – raising your child is crushing. But we had to make a decision and after some debate, we did.
It was not comfortable, but it’s done. Our daughter, our assets and my peace of mind are protected. The thought of reviewing our life circumstances yearly and adjusting our Wills is no longer daunting.
Although it took courage to talk about end of life planning, I now feel empowered and relieved. For those who have not gone through this process, take a deep breath and dive in.
At the Alzheimer Society we believe you can be a Super Hero by completing or updating your Will and Powers of Attorney and leaving a gift in your Will to the Alzheimer Society. Why? Because you are doing what is right, taking action, protecting your family and your assets and saving the world from dementia. You can do it!
Chief Development Officer, Planned Giving
Alzheimer Society of Ontario