Since I have started my Legacy Plan Document organizing with clients I have noticed that after our consultations my beautiful Legacy Binder sits on their table or desk for weeks, sometimes months before taking action. Most of my clients are left with some homework to get the job done. I can visualize it on their desk while they are actively working on completing the sections and that makes me smile knowing they are putting so much thought into the process. This is one of the areas that I focus on specifically with clients is encouraging and motivating them to get this big task completed. I provide follow-up to help with that accountability of getting the job done. It is only when it is completed that they have peace of mind that their affairs are in order.
So you may wonder, why are we all procrastinating on getting these types of things done in our day-to-day life, well more importantly what lies underneath the procrastination is what is interesting. Often procrastination is about avoiding the difficult decisions, pain, fear, or vulnerability that may come along with the task at hand. For example, we may be holding onto something that belonged to a loved one that has passed away. We want to keep that memory alive so we put off making the decision as long as possible.
These types of decisions and organizing your affairs about your Estate and Legacy Planning is a very vulnerable activity. It forces us to have conversations with others and ourselves about things that are difficult and many of us fear our mortality. It is a very uncomfortable feeling overall. It is a shared feeling amongst most of the population. Insert the need for a glass of wine or bottle of beer at the thought of these discussions. Time to chill!
Another reason that we don’t get to organizing our affairs is our preconceived ideas of the cost of seeing a lawyer or any other professional and receive advice on these matters. I can assure you that the money is very well worth it for any of their services to protect not only your assets but the potential impact on your family. We often just don’t prioritize these types of things in our life when it comes to finances. But we have no problem spending an easy $500 or more on a variety of things including a new phone without blinking. Truth!
With all of my clients, I make the focus, not about the fear, pain or, vulnerability of the conversation. Instead, I make the conversation we have about what is important to them and, what are they wanting to communicate to those that they love. I flip the process so that instead they consider it a gift of love and service that they are providing to those that they care about. Many have been through this process themselves and know how daunting of a process it can be so they want to avoid that for those that they love and ensure that they don’t have to go down the same path.
Most of my clients take at least 3 to 6 months to complete a binder and get their documents organized. Why does it take this long is simple, you need to have emotional breaks in between completing these tasks as they can be draining and decisions need to be thoughtful. So understanding that this process takes some time is critical in ensuring it gets done.
In some ways, a great Legacy Plan can be like a love letter that you leave to those that you entrusted to carry out your wishes. Guiding them on what will happen and how you want it to unfold. It does not have to be complicated, keep it simple and that makes the process much easier to orchestrate.
Now is the time to get started, get the conversation rolling, and make a plan! It is never too late to make it happen.
Chinese proverb: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the next best time is now.”