A Poem on Confronting the Elephant in the Room: The Importance of Your Estate, Legacy and End-of-Life Planning


If you’re anything like me, there are times when you’d rather put off solving a problem than deal with it immediately. But the problem may become even more difficult if that elephant in the room is avoided.

Legacy, estate, and end-of-life planning are topics that many people choose to ignore or minimize. The consequences of doing nothing can be severe. I know.

When my elderly, widowed aunt passed away without leaving behind current legal documents or advanced directives, my family was left with a terrible mess to clean up. After her untimely death, years of grief, financial difficulties, and intense family distress followed. What a tragic final gift she gave her family. Certainly not a positive legacy.

I wanted to bring fresh attention to this pressing issue, so I wrote the poem below. Be sure to look at the helpful checklist mentioned at the end of the poem as well.

Elephant in the Room

If you haven’t yet started organizing your legal documents, I hope this poem will help motivate you to just do it. It’s really not a matter you can keep putting off indefinitely.

Analysis: I find this poem to be very useful in looking at managing money from an emotional point of view. Finances are a very emotional and passionate topic for many people because they have a lot to do with our quality of life and ability to survive and provide for ourselves and our families. Although estate planning does not apply to everyone or look the same to anyone, causing this poem to appear somewhat one-sided because many people do not have the means to pass down financial assets, I still think it has great value. I find this poem to highlight the emotional stress of financial matters for many people as it puts emphasis on making specific financial decisions to alleviate pain in the future. It makes me question how banks can make this process easier, by being more empathetic, having easier more understandable user interfaces, and teachable processes to not add to the stress of those already worried about their finances to begin with.


Rehl, K. M. (2023, May 19). Confronting the elephant in the room: The importance of your estate, legacy and end-of-life planning. Sixty and Me. https://sixtyandme.com/legacy-planning-poem/