Over the years, as our Geyer Law attorneys have been helping Indiana families and business owners develop customized plans to secure hard-earned assets and protect loved ones’ welfare, one thing has become obvious. While we lawyers provide empathetic guidance, preparing the proper legal documents to carry out our clients’ wishes, there are certain pieces of the estate planning puzzle that can be handled only by the clients themselves….
Lynn Lambrecht, author of The Living Planner, helps clients get ready to be helped by their attorneys, going over the many personal, non-legal, “do-it-yourself” aspects of “expecting the unexpected”. The book is meant to help clients prepare in advance of meeting with their professional advisors
Not herself an attorney, accountant, fiduciary, financial planner, or insurance professional, Lambrecht had a long career as an airline executive. As a volunteer emergency team responder after airline crashes, she realized how unprepared survivors and family members were to cope with the tragedy. Her work, she says, honors the victims, families and survivors of Northwest Flight 255 and #1482 and United Airlines flight #175.
Just a few of the many things to think about, and just a few of the lists only you can prepare:
- Who has a key to where you live? To your car? Who knows your security codes?
- Who can access your mail? What about all your social media and email accounts online?
- Are there people who need to be notified that you’ve been in an accident or that you’ve died? (Work associates? Friends?) How and where will your survivors find those lists of contacts?
- Who are your medical care professionals? Where are your health insurance documents?
- Do you have pets? Who will feed them? Who is the vet?
- Are there specific personal or household items that are to go to certain people after you’ve died?
- Have you planned to donate your organs? Where are the papers documenting this?
- What is outside your home that requires attention (at your office, storage facility, etc.)?
By acting while living, you have the power to relieve some of the hassle for your loved ones after you’ve gone. “Be bold! Act Now!” Lambrecht urges.
While, at Geyer and Associates, we provide guidance, preparing the proper legal documents to carry out our clients’ wishes, there are certain pieces of the estate planning puzzle that can be handled only by the clients themselves…
– by Ronnie of the Rebecca W. Geyer blog team