Here is a condensed version of a call I received long ago.
Is this Jeff Stein? I am a cousin of _______, she was staying with us, she went to sleep a few nights ago, and never woke up. I found your name in her address book, hoping you can help me. I did not know whom to turn to. She had shared with me you helped her with her money and were pushing her to get a Will. I do not know where her Will is, where she might have her other cash and benefits, and who her beneficiaries are. Will you be able to help me get some money so I can pay for the funeral home?
Death is never an easy thing for the survivors to deal with. Having the responsibility of putting together the pieces after someone has died is a difficult job. Having to do it without any guidance left by the deceased turns that difficult job into a nightmare experience. My client never did complete a will. To add insult to this mess, the cousin was not even a beneficiary.
The cousin was incredible. We spent hours on the phone with him, helping him understand and navigate what he had to do to close his cousin's estate (everything she owned and owed) and find the money to pay for the funeral and final expenses.
Please do not think poorly of this individual who died way too young. She was a delightful, intelligent person, a leader in her industry; she was conscientious enough never to miss an appointment with me to monitor her money. She left a massive mess for those left behind to clean up with all her incredible qualities.
Are there aspects of this story that hit too close to home for you? Have you had to clean up the affairs of someone after their death and want to make sure that your heirs (those living after you are gone) will have the easiest path possible to clean up your estate? Are you who keeps postponing the reminder to get the Will done? Do you keep putting off a call to me for some attorney names but are embarrassed because you have asked for them before?
Get over it. We would all like to believe the world revolves around us and everyone else is there for our convenience. When I die, I do not want any fights about who gets what, and I do not wish anyone tasked with cleaning up my world to have to guess where money is, who might be owed what, etc. I am planning for as smooth a transition as possible from my being alive to my no longer being around. You should want that, and those you love should demand it.
I want to invite you to the Stein Financial Bus Tour called the Good Life Program. Where our first stop is getting your world in order; since this is a tour, all you must do is find your seat; when we make a stop, take advantage of the opportunities we present, and follow through with the tasks we ask you to complete. Like any other great tour, we will see and learn. When the tour is over, we will wonder why we had not taken advantage of this opportunity earlier.
We are here to be your tour guide. Hop on the bus with us, and together we can get this project moved from the to-do list to the done list.
I wish you a Good Life.
For a comprehensive review of your personal situation, always consult with a tax or legal advisor. Neither Cetera Advisor Networks LLC nor any of its representatives may give legal or tax advice.