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It was a beautiful spring morning when Barbara Bates Sedoric received a call from her brother. “Mom’s dead” he said, and Barbara’s day collapsed into grief and chaos. Because her mother’s death was sudden and unexpected, no plans were in place. Instead of having time to grieve, she and her family had to make many decisions in a short period of time. Even worse, for their peace of mind, were the nagging questions of what her mom would have wanted. Questions that were important, but now with no way of being answered.

As estate planning attorneys, we work with the technical details of creating an estate plan, and we get excited about different strategies for saving taxes or providing more options to the person creating the living trust. While those things are important, they pale in comparison to the emotional comfort a well laid out plan has for the surviving family members.

Mrs. Sedoric said, “If we had talked about what my mother wanted, and actually prepared for her death, we would have been able to share our grief without being overwhelmed by the hundreds of decisions that needed to be made.”

In Barbara Sedoric’s case, she channeled her grief into creating a helpful tool for others in organizing their affairs by creating LastingMatters. LastingMatters helps you answer questions like:

  • How do you envision your end-of-life care?
  • Who should be notified when you die?
  • What kind of service would you like?
  • Where are the keys to your home?
  • Where are your passwords listed?
  • Who should take care of your pets?
  • Where are your bank accounts?
  • Which family traditions would you like to pass on?

An estate plan is an important part of planning your family’s financial future. Answering questions like the above list can provide peace of mind for your loved one’s by letting them know what was important to you.

Image courtesy of Sura Nualpradid at FreeDigitalPhotos.net