Death is sometimes referred to as a “transition”. Somehow the use of that term seems to take the sting out of the event. “Death” sounds unequivocally final whereas “transition” leaves open the possibility of an afterlife.
A transition should be well planned and have as a prime element a smooth and easy transfer of ones worldly goods to his or her beneficiaries. Over the years I have had many clients who were motivated to “get their house in order” after witnessing the smooth transition of a close friend or relative. Those clients usually comment about how impressed they were with a smooth and peaceful process of settling the deceased person’s affairs following the transition. They want their own transition to be just as smooth and peaceful as the one they just witnessed.
What makes for a smooth transition? First, a solid estate plan was established and the relevant documents were easy to find. There was no excessive clutter or lots of "stuff" to sort through. The funeral or memorial service was laid out in advance by the deceased person with sufficient detail to allow stress-free planning. The estate planning documents were complete and organized in an orderly fashion. There was no confusion over the terms of the estate plan and there were no “gray areas” that could lead to family or beneficiary difficulties.
Sometimes it seems as if we are just getting further and further behind; there is so much to do, to keep up with. I guess that is why people are so impressed when they witness a smooth transition. That is one of my goals, to help people have smooth, uneventful transitions. That does involve some thought and work, but it is worth it for the persons left behind who already have a full plate and are grieving. I feel great when I get a call from the person in charge of the estate of a recently deceased client and they comment on how their loved one had an orderly and peaceful transition due to good estate planning.
© 2020 by Marlene S. Cooper. All rights reserved.
(You may obtain further information at the website www.marlenecooperlaw.com, by e-mail at MarleneCooperLaw@gmail.com, by phone at (626) 791-7530 or toll free at (866) 702-7600. The information in this article is of a general nature and not intended as legal advice. Seek the advice of an attorney before acting or relying upon any information in this article).