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  • South Shore Current

Last Words, Hear Me!

Written By: Sonja Gushiniere

Current Readers! In my professional journey, I have come across some pretty interesting happenings. The quote “You live, and You truly can Learn,” meaning learning from other people’s life experiences, may save us grief in the long term. Keep up; I will take us a little bit of everywhere in this article. Let’s Talk: Last Words, Hear ME!

A Scenario.

A client contacts me to hunt for their perfect house. I mean, life for this client is at an all-time high. Everything is either in place or falling into place. Family is good, relationship is good, life is amazing, and business is doing nothing but growing by leaps and bounds. Last, find that perfect place to call home! Life doesn’t get any better than this.

On our third house viewing, the client’s eyes light up like a little kid on Christmas morning. I mean, he strolls through each room, and I could tell he was imagining his possessions filling each space and designating rooms for each family member. He envisioned a vision of perfection! Leaving, he stops and says the tree goes up right there! This year is going to be the best Christmas ever for all!! He takes a moment in, and we leave out the door. While getting in the car, he says, “You know this is My House… it even has the Red door. Make it happen!” Enough said. Work begins, showed Sunday, offer on Monday, Tuesday–accepted!!! Wow, won’t God do it!

Now pay attention; this is where it becomes both devastating and very, very real. Wednesday morning, a call comes in to report that he died from an accident on Tuesday. The disbelief is real.

Mind you, the client: middle-aged, financially successful, unmarried, lots of possessions and assets, family, and NO major health issues. It could be anyone, right? We don’t want to think about the end moment or the aftermath.

The moment triggers chaos, sadness, and embarrassment or rather misunderstandings:

Chaos involved with the distribution of property and assets
The sadness of making the arrangements
Embarrassment or misunderstanding of the revealed

I always encourage professional advice. Seek out counsel to discuss state-specific “Will and Heir Laws” to understand the chain of command and what will happen. Dying without a “Will” in place means a person died “Intestate,” leaving the heir’s chain of command, probate property deceased person survived by spouse and descendants split at 50/50. Intestacy laws determine who receives assets of the person who died Intestate. Laws differ from state to state; check your state.

Many days, we wake up in a rush, fly out the door leaving behind, the “un-done” with the assumption of returning.

Wouldn’t it be interesting if we could have the last words, even in the afterlife? I know people don’t like the thought of death, therefore doing nothing to plan for it, and thus, “IT” controls itself.

What were our Last Words, and will they be heard? In a perfect world, we would have a person in place. The “Information Keeper,” we will call them. They would strike into action! They would remove the unsightly, clean up our spaces, and share our distribution list accordingly, along with assisting with arrangements. Naming the “Information Keeper” is the key “must do” even if no other preparation is made. You must do this now; time is of the essence. Time is no one’s friend, and it does not wait.

You would be surprised at the distant brother or the long-lost child or maybe even the ex-husband and how they will creep in and take over. And what about the condition we leave our spaces with the assumption of returning? Who will be the first person to enter your personal spaces. I am saying all this to put something on your mind.

You must:

1. Be conscious of how your home, work, and private spaces and what items are left and items are there to be revealed.

2. Make a list of personal items and possessions, the location of the items, and who should receive them. Maybe add a note covering the history and importance.

3. Designate an “Information Keeper” and talk with them to know your stories, perspectives, current wishes, and direction. They will become your voice.

4. Announce who this person is to ensure people are aware and give them respect in this role..

5. Give particular thought to your current relationship status. If unmarried, this person will have no authority. Consider putting a Partnership in place covering specific joint adventures.

6. Write a letter summarizing your life’s journey and experiences to later assist with the Obituary writing. Challenging topics like school, work history, and, yes, family. Who is the leading person in your life? What are some of your accomplishments?

The end is unavoidable. Taking a moment to write your story and make a list of directions may save some of the chaos, sadness, embarrassment, and misunderstandings.

Next month, Let’s Talk and thank you for sharing your topics and questions. Please keep them coming: and tell a friend or catch up on past issues at Let’s Talk Business, Real Estate, and Life here.

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