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Do you have the will?

By Camille Mc Millan Rambharat

Retirement and death, too young for that? Asked last week by a female caller about my planned retirement age, a long, awkward silence followed as her question raised more questions than answers. Cliché right? But my brain went off on a marathon list of things I needed to get done.

First, needing to update my will as our children are no longer little ones. When they were younger, my husband and I were thinking about our mortality, even though we were young and healthy parents. What would happen if they lost both of us together? Who would be best to love and raise all three together? What country would that person be living in? We sat down one weekend going through a list of family members we knew would be great guardians to our darlings.

The second option was their individual godparents, our extended family, who meant the world to us. After contacting the family member, we decided upon our children’s guardians who agreed and mentioned they were honoured I asked them.

Time has passed and the two boys are now responsible, smart working men and agreed to be their sixteen-year-old sister’s guardians should the unthinkable happen. As my anxious and wondering mind returned to the present moment to break the long and awkward silence to the question asked earlier: “What age do you plan to retire Camille?” “Oh! As long as possible!” Eighty-five was the recommendation the caller suggested, and I agreed.

Teaching children life skills both at home and school should include the importance of having a will. It’s never too early to have a will, but it can be too late, why wait? The late Chadwick Boseman from the ‘Black Panther’ mega hit movie did not have a will, although he knew his fate; leaving his widowed young bride and mother to be with their first child to go through an unavoidable situation.

Here are 5 reasons wills are important, provided by an attorney-at-law with over 25 years’ experience:

1: It creates structure and certainty on what you want to happen after you die

2: It places your affairs in the hands of persons you know and trust

3: It avoids conflicts

4: It allows you to give specific gifts to named persons

5: It gives you some control even after you have transitioned

Look at having a will as a last show of care for loved ones. Some parents with grown children, some with grandchildren decide not to have a will because they believe they may “offend” their loved ones or as one person told me, “I don’t want to put the children against each other”. Well, that’s exactly what would happen if you don’t leave a will behind. It’s been years and my mother’s friend still doesn’t have a will.

It took that phone call and triggered question to remind me to update my will. Hopefully, as you read this article, you too would be triggered to act.

It’s never too early to plan!