Life experiences, research and ultimately the writing of this book – – –
From an early age I have always been interested in numbers, organization, and being able to manage my life. My parents instilled in me the expectation of taking responsibility for myself. They were clear prior to my marriage that John and I should both be spiritually, emotionally and financially capable of taking care of ourselves and our future children. I watched my father and mother in action for 21 years. They seemed to have everything in their lives on track. Then suddenly, my father passed away.
It was then I realized my mother had not been involved or informed on critical financial issues. My mother had managed the household responsibilities and had done a fabulous job. My father, a businessman, had managed the financial responsibilities wonderfully. The problem was, left alone, mother struggled to manage both responsibilities. This was a wakeup call for me. Realizing there were areas of responsibility that John and I each fulfilled, I was not 100 % certain that either of us could smoothly take on the responsibilities of the other. I also asked myself, if both of my parents had passed away at the same time, how would I possibly figure out their wishes, their financial institutions, assets and obligations, locate legal, medical, insurance, financial, and property documents. During this period of loss, sadness, and mourning with my mother by my side, we went on a hunt for information. It’s a hunt I never want to go on again, nor do I want John to go on, and certainly do not want our beloved boys to go on.
That experience lead to the creation of the Personal Information File – Chapter 8 – in The Best of Our Lives. Completing the 12 worksheets in the file will give you “Peace of Mind”. So, “Peace of Mind” is what I have every minute of every day. Don’t worry when I get up in the morning, go to bed at night, travel within and outside of the country including travel to Israel, Jordan and Palestine, climb the Sydney Harbor Bridge, or jump off of the Auckland Sky Tower. You get the idea. Create for yourself and your loved ones a “Personal Information File”.
- They are the best planning forms I’ve ever seen!
Steve Weisman, A Touch of Grey, National Syndicated Radio
- Although The Best of Our Lives is wonderfully written and arranged, and presents invaluable advice for so many areas of our lives, there are little jewels of wisdom that sparkle. There is a chapter that deals with the maintenance of a personal file that would contain financial information, including that necessary for our loved ones to manage our estates after our death. I believe this to be one of the most important steps to take, especially as we age. As a CPA, I have counseled numerous widows and widowers, or children or other loved ones of a decedent, who are beside themselves to manage an estate which has insufficient information to determine the assets, liabilities and other important information necessary to manage and close an estate. You must, at a minimum, read this chapter.
G. Michael Dunlap, CPA, PC, Oregon