Terminal Illness and the "D" Word

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12 October 2017

It's a horrible topic - something we all hope we (or a loved one) never hear and we all hate talking about it .... a timeframe of the life you've left to live. While I've seen this around me myself, it remains incomprehensible at what it must feel like and it's our greatest hope that we never do.

The reality is however, that many of us will go through this. Of course, what we choose to do with this time is very individual and our mindsets can be a great asset or a complete burden. One thing you can take from such news is the opportunity to get your affairs in order.  This ensures your loved ones aren't burdened with any untidiness. It also provides your loved ones with the opportunity to spend as much time as possible with you and a chance to say goodbye, which greatly helps in the grieving process for those left behind. The alternative is a quick, sudden and unexpected death where affairs are often all over the place and loved ones are left reeling (unless you are lucky to make it to a ripe old age of course).

Sometimes here at All Financial Services, we have a tough job to help the terminally ill prepare their financial affairs to ensure no loose ends exist when the time comes. We often provide pro bono work to the Cancer Council NT who refer people to us when financial assistance is required. Through this referral program, we were recently introduced to a lovely gentleman, John, who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer to assist him with the process of tiding his financial affairs before he passes.

Our Financial Adviser, Sean Osborne, met with John to identify his superannuation funds and insurance and assist with the 'clean up' of his financial matters. Sean introduced John to Bree, one of our Client Service Managers, who persistently followed up the superannuation and insurance providers until they made full payment to John. After a few weeks, Sean and Bree were able to provide the good news to John that all payments had been made and were in his bank account, which in turn enabled him to minimise his debts. This ensured his wife (who is also living with cancer) could live as comfortably as possible following his death.

We spoke with John following the process who gratefully provided us with the following feedback:

"Meeting with Sean was extremely helpful as I didn't understand much of what I could do financially. Sean was supportive and arranged everything for me while explaining the whole process. Sean then introduced me to Bree who I appreciated so much, as she helped me by updating me throughout the whole process, so I always knew what was happening."

His appreciation was so great that he delivered a beautiful cake to our office for all the help Sean and Bree had provided him!

Of course, we don't need the cake but get satisfaction in knowing we've helped another person be released from financial stress to enjoy the time they have left with their dear family and friends.