Apr 3, 2024

It’s Time to Get Your Personal Affairs in Order

Sponsored Content provided by Insights On - ,

Life gets messy as we age. We spend a lifetime accumulating bank and investment accounts, retirement plans, health care benefits, real estate, insurances, club memberships, not to mention houses full of personal treasures. Keeping up with logins, passwords, account numbers, etc., can be challenging, especially if it includes those of our spouse, parents, or kids. Inevitably, life emergencies surprise us, often requiring immediate access for such details.

A Very Real Case Study

A few years back, having parents in their 80’s, I found myself responsible for administrating their financial, estate and medical affairs. As these duties became more frequent it was evident I needed a “cheat sheet” of personal information to reference instantly like insurance IDs, driver’s license, prescription drug cards, passwords and PINs.

I assembled their profiles into a few pages of notes. I can’t recall how often I referred to these sheets, but the mangled corners and scribbled annotations in the margins suggest it was often.

As both parents progressed into their 90’s, it was necessary to begin Phase II – Final Arrangements. After updating their Wills and Medical Powers, there remained questions about the distribution of personal assets, items like family jewelry, artwork, automobiles, sport equipment or other memorabilia.

We discussed pre-internment planning decisions like:
• Embalming vs. cremation,
• Selection of purchased goods (like urn, casket, & grave site marker.).
• Types of ceremonies such as public viewing, religious or private memorial service.
• The convenience of a columbarium or the reality of a family mausoleum.
• The choice of celebrant, music director, their favorite choir vocalist, Gospel readings, hymns, pallbearers and most importantly… obituary content.

The manifestation of all this pre-planning was justified in the period of my father’s medical infirmary and eventual passing. Every direction was followed without a hitch, no surprises, even down to the Scottish bagpiper’s farewell. The entire family was relieved, being able to focus on the moment and memories.

Managing the financial assets for families of wealth for 25 years has provided a unique perspective on the complexities of owning diverse portfolios of assets, as well as the importance of strategic succession planning. But this process is not only for those with substantial wealth. Whether single, married, with or without surviving heirs, a business owner or partner, we have a moral obligation to provide access and instructions, even if only to relieve the burden, confusion, or anxiety of another interpretating our wishes.

We have recently designed The Widow’s Trust Program to specifically guide you through this entire process of developing Your Complete Personal Data Record Profile & Instruction Manual for Future Care Givers & Heirs. Life’s unexpected emergencies happen. Clear decisions can be difficult while under extreme emotional stress. Isn’t it time to place your personal affairs in order?

To learn more about The Widow’s Trust, text the letters “W T” to 484-883-2660. Email [email protected] or visit

We invite you to join us for a brief conversation over coffee.

Tom Robertson is a former portfolio manager & director of option trading, with over 25 years' experience serving families of considerable wealth, medical professionals and small business owners.

Now residing in Wilmington, Tom's focus, when not on the golf course, is to help fellow boomers easily transition through the last real, active planning decisions they need to tackle, i.e., emergency profile access with instructions for elderly care, legacy and final arrangements.

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