Founder of popular website Get Your Shit Together blends personal story and must-have advice in the ultimate guide to getting your affairs in order—from wills and advance directives to insurance, finances, and relationships—before the unthinkable happens.
On July 17, 2009, Chanel Reynolds’ husband, José, was struck by a car while cycling near their home in Seattle. In the wake of her husband’s untimely death, Reynolds quickly realized that she was completely unprepared for what came next. What was the password to his phone? Did they sign their wills? How much insurance did they have? Could she afford the house? And what the hell was probate anyway? Simply put, when life went sideways she didn’t have her shit together.
As it turns out, most of us don’t either. We’re too busy, in denial, overwhelmed by too much information, uncertain where to start, or just uncomfortable having those difficult conversations.
Reynolds learned the hard way that hoping for the best is not a plan, but you don’t have to. Drawing on her first-hand experience, expert advice, and the unparalleled resources she’s compiled for her celebrated website, Reynolds lends a human voice to a warren of checklists and forms and emotional confusion, showing readers how to:
Create a will and living will
Update (or finally get) the right life insurance policy
Start or grow an emergency fund
Make a watertight emergency plan
Keep secure, up-to-date records of personal information
Authoritative yet personal, grounded but irreverent, Reynolds’ voice carries readers through a tough subject with candor and compassion. Weaving personal story with hard-won wisdom, What Matters Most is the approachable, no-nonsense handbook we all need to living a life free of worry and “what ifs.”
“There’s little point in worrying about a future death, but simple acts of planning can relieve your worries, protect and prepare you for what lies ahead, and give you a calmer and more peaceful today. These preparations are not only pragmatic acts, but sacred gifts to our future selves and to those we love who will survive us. What Matters Most is a reassuring, step-by-step guide to a better future in the midst of grief and loss.” (Katy Butler, author of Knocking on Heaven’s Door and The Art of Dying Well)
“Chanel Reynolds took her own unthinkable tragedy and turned it into a rallying cry for us all to get our sh*t together before it’s too late. In What Matters Most, she is your funny, irreverent friend, who’s here to show you tough love. The time for death denial and keeping your head in the sand is over.” (Caitlin Doughty, New York Times bestselling author of Smoke Gets in Your Eyes )
“Grief is a monster better confronted without a legal, financial and logistical mess left behind; Chanel’s wisdom is a gift to all future dead people wanting to lift some of the burden of loss off their surviving loved ones. What Matters Most offers you the chance to consider, and find, those critical answers.” (Rebecca Soffer, coauthor of Modern Loss: Candid Conversation About Grief. Beginners Welcome)
“How strange to have been so conscious about money in life but lax about where it all goes when I die. I’ve bought my green burial plot, picked who will bury me, but had I written my will? Well yes, many times, but never completed any of them. That stopped the day I read Chanel’s book. How free I feel to have these tasks done.” (Vicki Robin, New York Times bestselling author of Your Money or Your Life)
About the Author
Chanel Reynolds is the founder of the internationally praised website GetYourShitTogether.org, inspiring and motivating millions of people worldwide with the jumpstart they need to prepare for life’s curveballs. She was also the founding Managing Director of WorldChanging.com and has used her digital expertise consulting for clients such as Nike, Samsung, Microsoft, and Starbucks. Reynolds uses her uncanny ability to talk about the hard things at speaking events and conferences all of the world. She lives in Seattle and spends her free time exploring all the city has to offer with her son and stepdaughter.