October 17, 2008
Imagine that today you passed away. Your loved ones would be devastated, but would, nonetheless, be called upon to tend to your final affairs – arranging your funeral, managing your final debts, and possibly even having to probate your estate. Will you have left your affairs in complete disarray? Or will you have set in place a plan to ensure that your loved ones are able to carry out your last wishes with the least amount of effort?
When you pass away, your loved ones will be experiencing grief. Grief consists of the emotions and sensations that accompany the loss of someone or something dear to you. Dr. Elisabeth Kuebler Ross categorized what has become known as the “five stages of grief,” which are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. During these stages, your loved ones will also likely experience physical problems, which may include physical exhaustion, uncontrollable crying, sleep disruption, palpitations, shortness of breath, headaches, recurrent infections, high blood pressure, loss of appetite, stomach upsets, hair loss, irritability, worsening of any chronic condition, such as eczema or asthma, and visual and auditory hallucinations. Sometimes grief reactions are so severe that they are mistaken for signs of dementia or severe psychiatric illness.
Given the intense effect that grief will have on your loved ones, it is imperative that you create a plan to facilitate the handling of your final affairs. In addition to establishing an estate plan, it is important that you inform your loved ones of your plan. It is not necessary that you share…
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by: Gina M. Barry, Esq.