Thursday, July 30, 2015

Filed Under "D", For Death.....

Counselor, another name for lawyers.  We counsel clients, we teach them, especially in the land of estate planning and probate.  Yet, clients teach me, the lawyer, as well.  Case in point, recently a client emailed.  Trilled to have finally found the draft documents that had gone missing in her personal papers at home.  "I found them" the client wrote, "filed under D, for Death!".  My lesson -- clients filing systems vary from home to home, client to client.

Her system got me thinking --what other filing option may lurk in the filing cabinets of clients. Where might there loved ones eventually find the paperwork we worked so hard to craft?  One huge assumption here - that the paperwork is in a recognizable filing system.  My own parents, gone now, had a preference of keeping important papers in the freezer "in case of a fire!"

A for attorney
B for Bequest
C for Client Copy
D for Death
E for Estate Plan or End of Life
F for Final papers
G for Giving
L for Legal or lawyer
T for Trust
W for will

Those are the obvious titles that come to mind.  Whatever it may be, the freezer or a fireproof file cabinet with a tab for DEATH -- the key is to make sure loved ones know where to find them.  And until they are finalized, you remember where they are as well.  A plan that cannot be found is the equivalent of no plan.