No one wants to think about death, especially in the context of an accident or unanticipated health problem. Some people actually don’t want to “jinx” themselves, thinking they will somehow put themselves in harm’s way by signing a Will. But truthfully, our overall risk of death is 100%. The problem is, no one knows when it’s going to happen. How many car accidents have you (or friends) been in when you’ve actually thought about them beforehand? There are all sorts of statistics assigned to our odds of being killed from a car accident, from tornadoes, from illness, from a plane crash, from a dog bite, from food poisoning, from a shark attack (my favorite here in Dallas)… You don’t want to look this stuff up. But the fact is, all these things happen to someone, and that someone couldn’t avoid it with wishful thinking. It just happens.
It’s funny to me that many people are spurred into getting a Will drafted because they are going on vacation. Isn’t there some statistic out there that says you are most likely to get into a car accident within two miles of your home? Where in the world are you choosing to go for vacation? If it’s that nice of a destination, why do you think your risk of death is increasing? That’s not a very relaxing holiday!
This post is not meant to scare you, but to make a point. Thinking about death and planning for it is not necessarily ruled by the logical centers of our brains. You don’t know when you will need pre-planning for an illness or death. Not having it is a risk. Denial doesn’t change it. Lack of planning doesn’t make it easier on your family. But it is a fact of life we can prepare for.