• Karen Hinds

This is Why

Life changes on a dime…. You Only Live Once….. We aren’t promised tomorrow…..

All trite little sayings, until the unthinkable happens.

On December 6, 2019, my sister-in-law died. On that same evening, my step daughter’s husband was in a fatal accident with his father. The magnitude of the loss was magnified by the timing.

Three family members, gone, just prior to Christmas.

My sister-in-law’s death was expected. There had been numerous close calls, multiple hospitalizations. Despite all that, she wasn’t expecting it quite so soon. She actually had in her possession all the important documents: Living Will, Power of Attorney and Durable Power of Attorney. She had all intentions of signing…. eventually. Despite a terminal diagnosis, she still thought she had time.

As for my son-in-law and his father, both men were killed instantly in a car accident. They were both highly educated and successful individuals. They both left families behind. The father left behind his wife and his two sons, their wives and a daughter as well as his grandchildren. My son-in-law left behind his young wife as well as 4 young children – ages 20, 18, 11, and 9.

My son-in-law also left behind his million dollar home, multiple business interests, and investments; however, he did not leave a will nor a trust in place. No plans in place, in the event of his death. He always thought he had time. In the midst of her grief and depression, his wife is now embroiled in multiple legal issues while also trying to care for two minor children, now on her own. She is trying to learn his business and take over his responsibilities, which he worked so hard to create a lifestyle for her where she did not need to do this.

It is important to create an estate plan now, whether it is minuscule or large. None of us has a promise of tomorrow. We never know the day or time that could create similar issues for our own loved ones. Creating these documents only takes moments and when I compare the momentary discomfort of recognizing my own mortality to the distress my loved ones have experienced, it is a no-brainer. THIS IS WHY!

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