A Love Letter for Valentine's Day
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Some say that doing a Last Will and Testament, Health Care Proxy, and Power of Attorney is like writing a love letter. Corny, I know, but actually true. Being organized as well as being prepared for a crisis helps ease the burden on your loved ones. Imagine being in a hospital unable to communicate with your family or doctor, and no one can find your health care proxy. Or imagine having passed away and no one knows where to even begin locating your various bank accounts, investment accounts, or real property interests, let alone your digital passwords for your online accounts!  A "love letter" includes not only your essential estate planning documents like your will, health care proxy, living will, and power of attorney, but also a collection of information on your contacts, assets, and other resources for your family to use and refer to in a time of crisis. Wouldn't you rather that they have the time and ability to focus on what really matters than on peripheral things that you can take care of while you are well and alive? Being prepared does not stop with just getting your documents; it extends to preparing this information in such a way that someone other than you can follow it. Sickness, incapacity, and death are traumatic and emotionally draining in and of themselves.  Confusion over the assets and wishes of the person who is declining or has died just piles on more stress.  This confusion in the wake of a crisis can spark animosities in the closest of families, exacerbate lingering familial disputes, both petty and not, and lead to costly and even more stressful litigation.  Avoid leading your family down that path by making sure your affairs -- all of your affairs -- are really in order. [polldaddy poll=7775548]

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