Tom Gartner, MSAPM, CFP®
Independent Fiduciary Advice
Do you remember during the cold war years the President carrying the nuclear “football”?
It was a brief case which held the launch codes to authorize the use of nuclear weapons.
I remember around the same time this was also my father’s term for the family's professionally prepared estate planning documents, and related instructions and information.
Fortunately both kinds of “footballs” have not been necessary, but it’s somewhat of a comfort to know that we now have the latter in place. As parents of 4 young kids, we have a lot of responsibilities. One of them is having a plan ready to go if the unthinkable should happen.
Maybe it bothers me so much because more and more people I care about seem to be passing away these days. But you wouldn’t believe the number of people who haven’t updated their plan in 10+ years, or worse don’t have anything put together at all!
Consider committing sometime this football season to make sure your family “football” is in order.
It goes far beyond just having a will set up. What about the kids, who would take care of them, if they are adults how would the money be handled to help prevent it from becoming a curse? Health care wishes should you become ill, power of attorney so your loved ones can pay bills and access accounts, where is everything, and the list goes on and on depending on your situation.
The Gartner family "Football" is ready
A good attorney can help get the process started. Then it’s up to you to get the homework done, and have all the paperwork completed and in a safe place. I recommend a pre-made filing system available for under $50. It makes things a lot easier and comes with pre-populated forms to record your specific information. Then you can keep it handy by adding an affordable fireproof safe for about $50 delivered to your home. If you get a safe, consider keeping the key taped to the top, so any would be burglars could open rather than walking off with it thinking there might be valuable items inside.
Remember it doesn’t have to be perfect, getting started is better than nothing. Right now our newest child William (who also has the least number of photographs) is completely left out of the plan!
If you need one final push to get you going, I read somewhere once that people who have their estate plans completed tend to live about 7 years longer!
Please contact us if you would like more information or if you would like help getting started with your "football".
This article represents opinions of the author and not those of his firm and are subject to change from time to time and do not constitute a recommendation to purchase and sale any security nor to engage in any particular investment strategy. The information contained here has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed for accuracy.