Just ten days ago (I hope you noticed), World Kindness Day was observed, “promoting the importance of being kind to each other, to yourself, and to the world.” Some suggestions include:
- sending an uplifting text to a friend
- letting that guy merge into traffic
- sharing a compliment with a co-worker or friend
- reaching out to someone you haven’t spoken to for awhile
- taking a Kindness at Work pledge
In a way, we’ve often mused at Geyer Law, every day is “Kindness Day”, because taking a proactive approach to estate planning can be a way of being kind to your survivors. Life is a journey that starts and ends with family. In fact, as 360degrees of Financial Literacy so aptly puts it, “preparing for the time when you will no longer be there to care for your loved ones is one of the most important things you can do for them.”
In addition to having legal documents prepared – and keeping them updated – you can show kindness by drafting a letter telling your survivors where things are and what you want to have happen (both upon your death and in the event you’re injured and unable to communicate), making sure that your family members know precisely where to find that letter.
The “kindness letter” might include:
- names and contact information of your advisors (attorney, financial planner, banker) and of your employer.
- Contact information for any pensions you’re receiving
- information about prepaid funeral or burial plans (or, if there are none, what your wishes are)
- if you have any dependents, what arrangements you’ve made for their care and support
wishes and arrangements for your pets
Trustandwill.com suggest adding another dimension to the “narrative”, reflecting the values you’d like to import to your heirs, concepts you’d like to have them remember and put into action in their own lives.
World Kindness Day comes but once a year, but it’s a reminder that thoughtful estate planning can be the biggest kindness you can bestow on those who live on after you.
– by Ronnie of the Rebecca W. Geyer blog team