Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Personal Finance Advice You Never Hear
This month’s issue of Black Enterprise features a great article, Why You Need A Living Will, by writer Bridget McCrea. According to the article, there is a recent report from the National Center for Health which estimates that 13% of African Americans have a living will in place compared with 32% of whites. The problem is that living wills are a personal finance topic rarely, if ever discussed. Because of that, most people don’t even know what it is or how it is used. “A living will, also known as a healthcare proxy, is a document that allows people to express their wishes regarding specific medical treatments in the event that they are dying, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to communicate their preferences.”
Unfortunately, it’s easy to slip into selfishness when the life on the line belongs to a loved one. Although we might make the decision to keep them alive for as long as possible no matter what the cost, knowing their true wishes may technically dictate otherwise. Creating a living will is not easy, but very much necessary. McCrea suggests that we “start by envisioning a scenario where you are unable to make your own decisions. Consider exactly how you’d want your healthcare handled.” As difficult as it may be, remove the emotion. Think about the relief your family will experience because you are clear about your expectations. For many, these type of circumstances only make an already challenging situation that much more stressful.
Here are just a few of the Living Will Do’s & Don’ts as featured in the article:
DO take some time to plan ahead and consider what your wishes would be if you couldn’t make decisions on your own.
DON’T think that you don’t need a will because you don’t have a large amount of assets.
DO consider as many “What If?” scenarios as possible when drafting your living will.
As someone who is surrounded by personal finance information on a daily basis, I’ll admit that I am not a part of the 13% of African Americans that reportedly have a living will. I will promise, however, that I will be within the next 30 days. By the time my husband or I need it, it’ll be too late to think about writing one, so I’m starting today. Will you?
Check out this simple e-how post on how to make a living will and as always, please share any information you find with other readers.
Until Next Time,
Seek Wisdom, Find Wealth & Be Blessed!