How many times are you willing to see a deceased person’s account on Facebook before you do something about it? If you’re like me, you could be ignoring how easy it is to do this on Facebook.
For me, it took almost three years before I requested to memorialize my deceased father’s Facebook account today. I was motivated by a conversation I had the other day with an old friend from high school who told me his story about dealing with his step father’s estate. It was a mess and it compelled him to launch an entire business to help people deal better with estate planning.
Why did it take me or anyone else so long to memorialize my dad’s Facebook account? I have been in denial, mostly. The last time I saw his account I clicked past it faster than I can eat a donut after a long bicycle ride.
I also need to do this for my dad on LinkedIn, because he’s still there. Again, it’s stupid to think I’m too busy or in denial. So I decided to do something about, especially when I found out how easy it is to do.
Dealing with stuff like this is much like when my wife asks me to take down dad’s, “shrine.” I set up a little devotional that is special to me. I have attachments! Go figure. And I really miss my dad. Sometimes I pick up his picture and hug it trying to feel his warm, loving embrace one more time. Dad was a great hugger!
There’s no excuse for me to have waited this long. First, I work online all day. Second, I have plenty of time because I’m self employed and can do whatever I want, whenever I want. Doing things like this is important when you know the cost of not doing it.
The simple truth is I didn’t make taking dad’s Facebook account down a priority. The few times his page popped up I clicked past it even though I felt this deep pull on my heart, my soul, when I saw his picture. Click, click to get past the wave of emotion that begins.
Why am I telling you this? Because one of the most important topics of discussion and education here at RetireOnPurpose.com is to empower you to take care of your affairs, “in the now.” Why dedicate your entire life to living, working and retiring on purpose and NOT plan for your death? Purposeful people care enough to know the pain of our loved ones when we leave this place. So we DO what is right. We plan and organize.
Estate planning may sound like a fancy, expensive and complicated thing. Or even outright scary if you don’t deal with the thought of your demise well. But the reality is we all die and when we do somebody has to deal with our affairs. Why not deal with it now?
High Cost of Waiting
I have seen more than one, multi-million dollar estate go to waste. Yes, the high costs of death are one thing; memorial services, lawyers, insurance people and mountains of paperwork consume us. As if it weren’t already hard enough considering all the other things we need to do in life, why would we want to leave our loved ones in the lurch when we croak?
It’s denial. And there’s a huge cost to waiting that goes far beyond money. It’s the emotional pain of losing the people we love. And if you have a heart, you take the right action to organize and plan your affairs.
When I worked for over a decade as a financial planner and investment adviser I made it a huge point with all my clients to hammer out their estate plans even if they didn’t think it was important. Most of my clients ignored this until something big happened. Usually it was the death of a loved one that triggered the emotional awareness, the empathy, to do the estate planning needed.
Don’t sweat the big stuff! Really. I speak from experience because my wife and made some tough calls when we created our Living Trust years ago. The most common reason my clients back then didn’t get their affairs in order is they couldn’t agree on who would take care of their kids! That’s right. Because of this, they would procrastinate on putting their affairs in order regardless of how many quarterly reviews we had together. Some of my clients never got their affairs in order. Now that’s expensive, not the lawyer cost to do it right.
I get it, really. But it’s not fair to the people we love. Consider how many digital pieces we have at our fingertips today; computers, smart phones, iPads, home security codes, credit cards, checking, savings and investment accounts, life insurance policies and more.
No matter how hard I work to simplify my life, there are many moving parts. I own and operate multiple websites, a successful business that I’m in the process of turning over to my partners, and way too many social media and other online accounts like …
- BMW Owners of America
- LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, etc.
You get the point. Are you in the same boat?
If so, what is you think you need to do about all of this? If you got called back to the major leagues today how will your family deal with your affairs?
Think about this …
- The 10,000 logins you possess.
- The code to your safe.
- Your credit cards, savings, checking and other accounts.
- All your offshore trunks full of gold. (Kidding.)
Be honest. The responsible thing to do is leave your treasure map before your ship goes down! It’s utter nonsense to ignore it any longer if you really care about the people who love you most. Think of them, first.
How To Memorialize A Facebook Account
It’s actually pretty easy to memorialize a deceased person’s Facebook account. It took me only a few minutes to make the request. Facebook also indicates the providing documentation for deceased person’s death is optional. That’s a good thing for me, but I wonder how that works out when someone’s “X” wants revenge. (Must be my magnificent, magnifying mind.)
Follow these steps from your Facebook page when you’re logged in …
Again, you need to be logged into your own Facebook page to click through and request help from Facebook to memorialize a deceased person’s account. I can tell you from personal experience that Facebook people are very good at communicating electronically, but it’s unlikely you will pick up the phone and call them. Just click and send.
How To Get Your Affairs Organized
I am the first to admit I’ve been lazy about this. My wife and I have two, adult sons who are both living and working happily on their own. We made it this far and now it’s time for us to take care of our retirement plan; the same one I’m teaching … live, work and retire on purpose so we can blow this whole traditional retirement plan thing out of the water.
What is more important than your estate plan? This includes your will, trusts that are appropriate, proper beneficiaries of retirement accounts, pensions and insurance policies, your healthcare directives and more.
For me, I made estate planning a priority a long time ago because I worked in the profession and was advising my clients about the importance of having a solid, well-documented estate plan in place before it was too late. We tackled that right after we started having kids by getting life insurance and doing the basics. It wasn’t until we had accumulated decent wealth back then that we felt it was necessary to pay an estate planning attorney a few thousand bucks to prepare a proper and thorough Living Trust and related estate planning documents.
Doing this felt great back then. I could look my clients in the eye and show them that I walked the same walk as I advised them. This meant they were more likely to heed my advice. Because of this many families I advised were prepared for almost anything in the future, including death.
Facebook Connects Old Friends
I recently reconnected with a friend from high school who told me his story about what happened when his step father passed away. His name is Jon Braddock and we met on Skype recently. We hadn’t seen each other since high school!
Wait until you hear this guy’s story. Not only did he crush it in his business and raise an amazing family, but he took the same approach to retirement as you and me … Jon lived, worked and is now retiring on purpose! And he’s not sitting in a rocking chair counting his money. He’s doing something purposeful to help others.
After I heard Jon’s story about what he went through settling his deceased step father’s estate, I bought his new organizer called My Life & Wishes Organizer by
Why buy this estate planning organizer when you could do this for free? Look in the mirror and ask yourself how well you’ve done in this regard. Maybe it’s time you do what I just did because when I take this to my wife she’s going to be very happy with me! And after more than 30 years with this amazing woman, I need all the brownie points I can get!
My Life & Wishes Organizer is a simple, affordable way to focus on doing what counts the most for your family; plan your affairs. Buying the organizer is a reasonable investment for most people. It’s simple and straightforward. No BS.
The best thing about this organizer is there’s an online solution by the same name, www.MyLifeandWishes.com behind it that is also very affordable. My wife I plan to use it, also, because that way, unless the Internet goes away, 100% of our affairs will once again be organized. We do the same thing for identity theft. (You would too if your last name were Jones. You might anyway.)
The last time my wife and I worked on our estate plan was 1998. That’s when we set up our Living Trust. It’s been sitting on a shelf since. That’s way too long to wait for an update. This is the perfect example of silly procrastination and I’m the same guy who always used to tell my clients, “Being too busy is hazardous to your wealth.” Then I didn’t follow all of my own advice.
If you do find the organizer useful, please let us know. We want to make sure the education products and sponsored services we’ll be incorporating are of huge value to you. Why? Because I’m on a personal mission to build my little team of writers, contributors, sponsors and affiliates here on RetireOnPurpose.com by living the example; live, work and retire on purpose.
Got a question about estate planning, getting your affairs in order, or anything else about creating the retirement plan, income and life of your dreams?
Post a comment, question or contribution below or contact us here.
P.S. Keep an eye open for an interview I’m soon to line up with the author, Jon Braddock. How cool is it that we went to high school together in New Hampshire almost 40 years ago? To me, it’s amazing. Thanks to Facebook in a big way too!