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Over the years our Girl Scout and Boy Scout leaders as well as teachers and parents have told us to BE PREPARED. This advice takes on new meaning when we prepare others for the inevitable time when we will pass away and leave the responsibility of handling our affairs over to our loved ones. When we go not prepare we can inadvertently cause much consternation and difficulty for those left behind.

Recently this was highlighted with two celebrities who left no will behind, namely singers Prince and Aretha Franklin. Family relationships can be ruined; and heirs may spend years sorting things out legally. Here are some things to consider:

  • Make sure your will is up to date and that you include new members of the family as you wish and remove deceased loved ones.
  • Check all of your assets out. You may find that you are worth more than when the original will was created. And you may very likely be worth more than you realized!
  • Meep all insurances and passwords handy and make sure your designers know how to access them.

I have heard of many bad situations which could have been averted with proper planning. In one instance a son with a brother in Australia had to deal with an emergency admission of both parents at a memory facility; and it took several days to track down the needed information. It all happened on the weekend of course so dealing with insurance companies and banks was not possible until that following Monday. In another instance the father was exceptionally well organized in almost every way. Having come from a field of finance, he had all of the financials and insurance information organized and readily available except for the fact that he had forgotten to give his family the computer password to access everything. When he passed away it took several days to get to the information. His grandson figured it out since his grandpa had taught him how to store and back up his own systems. He knew his modus operandi!

Both of these situations could have been avoided if total planning had occurred. So there is never a more important time to be prepared than planning for your family to assume control of your affairs.

Plan away!