Those are questions about which most folks don’t like to think or talk. The topic of death hits close to home. And it’s probably best that we don’t know the answers. Yet death happens.
It’s in the news, almost every day. We’re hearing a lot about shootings in major cities, claiming the lives of people of all ages, races, colors, and creeds. Sadly and tragically, that beat goes on.
In addition to those violent deaths, people in the U.S. are dying from other causes. Here are the numbers for one recent year (2017):
- Heart disease: 647,457
- Cancer: 599,108
- Accidents: 169,936
- Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 160,201
- Stroke: 146,383
- Alzheimer’s disease: 121,404
- Diabetes: 83,564
- Influenza and pneumonia: 55,672
- Kidney disease: 50,633
- Suicide: 47,173
While some would not include in statistics like these the number of unborn children who die by abortion, that number, 623,471 for 2016, is impossible to ignore. That’s less than half the high of 1,429,247 in 1990 but does not include California, Maryland, New Hampshire, and the District of Columbia, none of which reported in 2016.
The newest reportable cause of death, coronavirus, has taken more than 143,000 lives in the U.S. so far this year. That number will surely rise in the months ahead.
This past week two of my longtime friends passed away. One suffered with cancer for four years. The other died suddenly of a heart attack. Each had lived about eight decades.
Neither method of dying is easy for surviving family members.
Lengthy illness is draining on the patient and also on primary caregivers. It does provide time for putting one’s affairs in order. But even still, some do not get those matters taken care of. Procrastination rules.
Sudden death is more shocking for the family because of its unexpected arrival. In those cases, unless the deceased has made plans for distribution of his/her assets, that important unaccomplished matter can cause huge distress for the survivors.
Often I’ve observed that the people in my genealogical family tree have two things in common. They all were born. They all have died.
So while it’s on your mind and while you have a bit of spare time, it would be a stellar idea to put the tasks of estate planning, asset listing, and other related matters on your “do it now” list.
Legacy Deo can help. For a free electronic copy of our Wills Planning Guide, The Red Book (asset listing tool), and Funeral Planning Guide, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (512) 646-4909.
You will be relieved. Quickly. Your loved ones will be blessed. Eventually.
And it will take away much of the stress related to the questions of how, when, and where your life will end. Thankfully.