Residents of Hawaii received a massive emergency text alert on Saturday that warned of an inbound missile ready to strike the island.
Locals only had 15 minutes to find shelter, according to NPR. It took another 15 minutes or so for Hawaiians to find out the warning was a mistake.
Many people later shared with news media how it felt to think their lives would soon come to an end during those minutes of uncertainty.
If it were real, how many of those people had their personal affairs in order?
According to a 2016 Gallup poll, 44 percent of Americans say they have a will that describes how they want their property and money handled after their death. That's lower than in 2005 (51 percent) and 1990 (48 percent).
The poll found 68 percent of people 65 and older have a will, compared with 14 percent of those who are younger than 30.
Here’s a look at six things you can do to prepare for death, which will happen — you just don't know when:
Review beneficiary forms
According to Forbes, it’s important to review your retirement accounts to make sure your funds will go to the right person. Make sure you name both a primary and an alternate beneficiary in case of any hiccups. It's also important to figure out how much money or possessions to share with family and friends once you're gone.
Draft a will
Put together a will that explains where your property will go after you die, according to Legal Zoom. Make sure you name an executor or someone who can handle the distribution of the property you will leave behind.
When writing your will, make sure you’re specific and detailed about what you have and how you will divide your possessions. “If you are using a will to pass on your house, for instance, include the full address when identifying the property,” according to Time.
Transfer power of attorney3 comments on this story
According to WebMD, if you are sick or terminally ill, you should transfer power of attorney, or the authority to manage your affairs if you become unable to do so, to someone you trust.
Gather important documents
Secure your property deeds, vehicle titles and official certificates and put them in a safe place to make sure your loved ones can find them once you pass away, according to Legal Zoom.
Finally, keep a master file
Everything your friends and family need before you die should be kept in one master file. This includes your will, birth certificate, driver’s license and any other legal documents you’ve used in your life, according to LifeHacker.