Be Prepared

Boy Scout Symbol

Fleur-de-lis: Boy Scout Symbol

It’s about 3 am on Sunday, December 5th.  I awoke suddenly to thoughts of death. There’s ringing in my ears and a general feeling of congestion, so its probably my gall bladder acting up again . . .

Maybe its because winter is here again, and memories are flooding in about my Mom’s death almost a year ago.  Or maybe, just maybe, my Ku is trying to tell me something else . . .

At any rate, here I sit, keyboard in hand, thinking that I haven’t done a thing to prepare myself or my wife in case something happens to me.  I’m headed to San Francisco on Thursday and have not made any preparations . . . just in case.  Although Brigitte knows I’m almost finished with my second book, she doesn’t have my passwords, project files, updated Will, or the location of other important documents.

In the Boy Scouts, the motto is “Be Prepared.” Since I was an Eagle Scout, you would think I would remember that . . . and I do.  But I’m not.

Consequently, I have some catching up to do!

Are YOU prepared in case of serious illness or death?  If you’re young, these thoughts don’t much cross your mind.  If you’re pushing 60 like I am, however, you might want to print out the following checklist of things you need to do “just in case”:

  1. Prepare a Last Will & Testament – It only costs a few bucks.  Google it.
  2. Prepare a Living Will. Google that too.
  3. Prepare a video and/or screen-capture video or written document of where and how you stored important documents and items that may be needed in case you’re gone.  These are things like insurance documents, bank and medical records, and personal treasures or heirlooms. Audio recordings are also fine, so long as you are able to describe things accurately.

If you really want to be prepared – and avoid Probate – look into creating a Living Trust and other “holding” trusts. These are entities that protect all the “stuff” you may have left out of your Will.  Actually, I’m thinking I need to put MOST of my “stuff” in trusts – Living Trust, Land Trust , and Personal Property Trust – and use the Last Will as a spillover document.  This may have to wait until January, however, since it involves a bit more preparation.

Oh, also be sure to UPDATE the above information from time to time.  Leaving the house to your  daughters and three sons may sound like a great idea . . . unless it was sold two years before you paid a visit to St. Peter!

I’m just sayin’ . . .

Categories : Health Issues

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