There’s nothing quite like getting a Living Will, Last Will and Testament and Power of Attorney in order to make your emotions take a sudden nosedive.
Being the genius that I am, I decided to do this around 10am this morning, and it had a marked effect on the rest of my day. Maybe it’s the work travel tomorrow that has me on edge. Maybe it’s air travel in general these days and pilots we see being tired, boarding a plane drunk and freaking out at altitude that has me on edge. Whatever the reason, I find that I’m strangely becoming less and less of a fan of flying.
I read that the odds of dying in a car accident are 1 in 12,300, while the odds of dying in a plane crash are less than 1 in 1,000,000.
But still, I fret.
Who will take care of my cat? Who will get my car?
I decided to put at least a portion of the fretting to rest and hop on LegalZoom [note the shameless plug for which I received no compensation] for some speedy document generation.
Granted, the papers haven’t been signed by myself nor my witnesses yet, but I feel better about having them.
In all seriousness, though, having to answer questions about whether you want to donate your organs as a gift to others, donate them to science or neither is a tricky thing to wrestle with over your morning coffee. Naming one or both parents as an “agent” who has the right to pull the plug if I’m in a vegetative state isn’t something I particularly enjoy thinking about, either. But I learned a few things.
I learned that, yes, I would like to be given food through an IV even if I am in a coma or otherwise silent state. I can’t imagine starving to death if I’m already in bad shape, can you?
I learned that I’m comfortable with donating my organs after all, whereas I’ve never really thought much about it — except to decline the donor dot on my driver’s license. Watch Seven Pounds if you haven’t seen it yet. If you’re not a donor, you might opt to become one.
I listed my dad as my first “agent” and my mom second. It’s not like they wouldn’t consult anyway. He’s listed first so that his level-headed dude-ness can preside over matters such as deciding what to do with my remains (I’m still undecided about whether to be cremated or buried, although I’ve always preferred the heat over the cold, so maybe this should inform my decision).
While I would never wish for any of these things to fall into my parents’ collective lap, as God knows they have enough on their own plate with my grandparents and with an eye towards my dad’s retirement these days, I can honestly say that tonight I am thankful that documents of this nature — and the ease with which they can be created (for a fee, natch) — makes me sleep a little easier.
Not on the plane, mind you, since I’ll be too busy trying to detect abnormal turbulence.
But easier nonetheless.