I am sure you will agree with me when I say:
Starting your End-of-Life Planning can be daunting and like most people – you will use different excuses to avoid doing it.
Though you may have heard it’s a good idea and you know it’s logical to do, you still use many excuses to avoid it.
But let me be honest with you……….
You are more than likely using one or more of the following 7 excuses that many people use to justify why you have not started, or why you shouldn’t consider your End of Life Plan.
So, in this article, I will go through each of the 7 common excuses people use to avoid End-of-Life Planning and why these excuses are irrational.
There should be no excuses for not starting or at least be considering an End-of-Life Plan once you have finished reading this short article.
The Importance of End-of-Life Planning
You need to consider and understand the importance of End-of-life planning. Ignorance of this will not lessen the impact that a lack of an End-of-Life Plan will have on your loved ones and family who will be left behind after your death. Do you wish to inflict upon them more stress and hardship because of your excuses?
I assume, NO
Top 7 Excuses for Not Putting Your Affairs in Order
So, let’s consider 7 of the most common excuses that many people use for failing to put their affairs in order:
1. Don’t Have Time to Plan
“I’ll do it later. I’m too busy.” or, “I’m young, and so I have plenty of time.”
How much time you have is rarely something you can control. Death is inescapable and can occur at any time and it will affect all of us. If you don’t believe me, read your social media feeds or your newspaper to appreciate how many people die daily.
Not only from various illnesses but due to car accidents, killed by some rare workplace accident, returning from a night out due to being “king hit” or a victim of a terrorist attack. Those people certainly didn’t think life would end so soon!
Did you know about 452 people die in Australia every day? (1)
2. I don’t Like to Think About Death or End of Life Things
“It’s too morbid or creepy to deal with this stuff.”
None of us starts our own End-of-Life Planning because we enjoy it. We do it for ourselves and for our loved ones that will survive us. We undertake this sometimes confronting task out of love and consideration for them. To make sure life is not made more difficult than it already would be.
3. My End of Life Care; It’s Too Overwhelming to think about
“It’s all too much. I don’t know where to start.”
The danger of not having your wishes clearly communicated to your loved ones, or having your affairs in order, may come at a very high price. You may be subjected to medical interventions that you would not have wanted. With people making treatment options that don’t understand what you valued.
Note: 90% of people say talking with a loved one about End of Life care is important, but only 27% actually do it.(2)
You may never have the opportunity to say your goodbyes as you would have liked to or expressed how you would like to be remembered by your children, grandchildren or friends. Have you considered the benefits of writing or recording an Ethical Will or Legacy Letter?
4. Having Irrational Fears about death
“If I start to do the paperwork, then I will die shortly,” or “By not doing the planning I won’t die because I won’t be ready yet.”
As with all fears, they are feelings induced by perceived danger or threat from a situation, that is out of proportion to the potential reality of the danger or the likelihood of the event occurring. Planning and talking about your End-of-Life Plans will not hasten your own demise.
5. Concern about Confidentially of End-of-Life Plans
“I want no one knowing too much about my personal affairs,” or “The number of assets and money I have.”
You can control and limit the amount and type of information you wish to share with specific professionals on a need to know basis. Remember though, you need to make sure that when seeking advice from different professionals such as solicitors and financial planners you need to give enough information so they can accurately advise you. Most professionals charge a fee for their services and do not have a financial interest in your estate will focus solely on your requirements.
6. Legal Advice for End-of-Life Planning is Too Expensive
“I can’t afford the legal expense right now; they’re a rip off charging those fees.”
It will be far more expensive financially, legally and emotionally for you and your loved ones to make sure your wishes are carried out if you don’t have the correct legal advice. Besides, you may forfeit or give up the right to direct your own affairs as you would have wanted if you are incapacitated due to injury or suffer from dementia.
7. Fear of Dying and Death
“I’m afraid of dying,” or “I don’t want to die.”
Conversations about death are becoming increasingly taboo or seem to be distasteful. Dying has become more institutionalised over the last several decades. The sooner you communicate your wishes for your own End-of-Life Plan, the sooner you will be better prepared, as will your loved ones in knowing what your wishes are when the inevitable occurs.
If you wish to die at home and not in a hospital, you will need to ensure your wishes are communicated in your Advance Care Plan or Advance Health / Care Directive. A “Good Death” requires planning and it starts with talking about your preferences.
Remember, 70% of Australians wish to die at home but the fact is only 14% do.(3)
Conclusion – No End-of-Life Plans Equals Only Hope and Wishes
Stop using one of the above excuses and start on your End of Life Plan TODAY as you don’t know what tomorrow will bring.
There should be no excuse to start planning at any age. Death will strike on its own timetable.
Remember Planned Wishes can assist in this process in several ways including having an End of Life Conversation. So contact us today.
Jeffrey K: Educator, Speaker, Retirement Lifestyle Coach, and Later Life Planning Consultant
Please feel free to leave a comment below, or get in touch with me at Planned Wishes. You can also Retweet this post, share it on Facebook, or email it to friends who may enjoy it. To learn more about Planned Wishes, visit our website at Planned Wishes.com.au. For information on future articles join us today.
References – Excuses Used to Avoid End-of-Life Planning
(1) 3302.0 – Deaths, Australia, 2015 – Australian Bureau of Statistics web site accessed 24th August 2017, http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/3302.0.
(2) IHI. The Conversation Project National Survey. IHI, 2013.
(3) Relationships Australia, (2016), May 2016: End of Life Planning, viewed at http://www.relationships.org.au/what-we-do/research/online-survey/