Published By B. Patrick Carter, CPA
If we lived life in reverse, think of all of the confusion and problems we could potentially avoid. We could provide for our families in a much more efficient manner, covering all of those things that seem unimportant to us now or decisions we avoid because of our daily indecisiveness.
Take a minute and think about some of those simple things. Things that may only take an hour or two of our time now, but will save our families countless hours (and in many cases hours of anguish) during a difficult time. What a precious gift we can give to our loved ones when we are no longer here to protect them.
I am talking about four priceless documents that every one of us should provide to our families now, because one day they could provide immeasurable comfort to them. Those documents are:
- Healthcare Representative
- Living Will
- Power of Attorney
The proper execution of these documents will only take a few hours at best now, but will save your family untold hours of stress. Many issues that arise in estates find their root cause of failure is securing these documents.
Each of the above documents can be prepared quickly, by an attorney in most cases. Each document is important on its own and every estate, regardless of size or age, needs to have these completed.
Just as important as preparation is the proper storage of these documents. Some individuals have gone to their attorney and had them prepared only to store them in a less than secure location. Things to consider in storage are:
- Safety will be to protect the documents from fire and other events that could damage or destroy them.
- Accessibility dictates the ease of retrieving the documents when needed. This item is extremely important!
- Security shields documents from outside use and retains knowledge of contained information.
In this digital age, secure storage is available with easy accessibility. Such an example is Carson Wealth Management’s online storage vault. The vault can be accessed 24/7 and has a high level of encryption provided. The vault also has the capabilities to provide storage for any document where such storage would be needed.
If we were to imagine an event occurring where a client is critically injured and all family members are away and a healthcare decision had to be made within minutes, the use of the vault would allow instant access to the document (healthcare representation document). The document can be emailed directly to the healthcare team treating the individual, perhaps answering life-saving or life quality decisions. This one decision to properly store important documents allows the individual the freedom to live life in the style they desire.
If you would like to discuss the advantages of the vault and why its storage is so vital to your estate plan and general storage needs, give us a call at Carson Wealth Management and we will be pleased to give you a guided tour and discuss your financial and estate needs with you.