Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

A Dose of Reality Hits Home

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

A Dose of Reality Hits Home

Article excerpt

Byline: Tony Riddle

WHY is it, do you think, that we put off making really important decisions until we're faced with a crisis -- or until it's too late?

Last month I underwent triple bypass heart surgery.

Years ago it would have been a life or death situation. Today, however, this type of surgery has become almost routine.

It stops you in your tracks, though; and it certainly makes you confront your own mortality.

The day before my operation I dug out a copy of my will, which I hadn't looked at since 2008.

I'd been too apathetic or lazy -- busy, sure, but that's just making excuses -- to plan for the unexpected.

What do they say about good intentions? Life is such that we all seem to put off what is not subject to an urgent deadline.

Wills fall into that category. But I can tell you that, when faced with the reality that you may no longer be around, you realise the importance of not just having a will -- but of having one that is up to date.

And you also realise that trying to change your will while you're being wheeled into surgery is just not going to work.

My 2008 will wasn't horrible, but neither was it ideal. It dealt with most of my affairs, but it referred to a trustee I no longer considered appropriate and there had been some business changes that were not covered.

While fairly minor, those matters could have led to unnecessary angst and suffering to those left behind -- simply because I had not put in a bit of effort.

The episode made me consider the whole question of wills and their importance, not so much for their author, but for those left behind.

Anyone over the age of 18 is entitled to have a will but, in most cases, we put it off for far too long.

Some of us are superstitious about writing a will, thinking it might be unlucky -- tempting fate, if you like. …

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