The now former publisher of our local newspaper writes a weekly column which always includes a notable quote. This one by Golda Meir caught my eye, and I saved it because it sums up the essence of our practice philosophy: Planning Ahead is Planning for Life.
One of my all time favorite books/movies is Gone With The Wind which includes one of the most famous lines of all time (no, not that one):
“Tomorrow is another day!” Scarlett proclaims that line optimistically, looking ahead to a better tomorrow. But in estate and long term care planning world, that phrase usually translates into “I don’t want to (or can’t) deal with these issues today … so I’ll put them off until tomorrow.” And tomorrow is always another day. Then one day, a medical crisis occurs: an accident, a stroke, a bad fall, a diagnosis of a progressive or terminal illness, an unanticipated admission to a nursing home, or even a sudden death. And tomorrow is today. Uh oh.
It is never too late to plan, and we are always able to help in a crisis situation. If your tomorrow is indeed today, don’t beat yourself up. Yes, the clock is now governing you, but we will find a solution to whatever you are now facing.
But there are always more options and strategies available if we are looking ahead and planning longer term when things are quiet and calm(er), rather than planning with the overlay of immediate stress and fear and the feeling of having run out of time. It can be challenging (and maybe a little or even a lot scary) to sit down and think in the abstract about a future time when you or a loved one might be incapacitated or even gone, but it is way more challenging to try to address those circumstances when they are actually happening in real time and you would much rather be by your loved one’s bedside than dealing with finances and documents.
So, while things are hopefully calm in your life, grab control and govern the clock. Contact us to schedule an appointment to discuss your tomorrows. Take the time to review your current plan (if you have one) or to come up with a plan (if you don’t have one), and then look to tomorrow optimistically a la Scarlett rather than with fear. Because here is another quote to consider, courtesy of a Chinese fortune cookie: “Action is worry’s worst enemy.”