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  1. I have lost two family members suddenly in 2 years.
    Both were living alone, both were lost due to unexpected health conditions.
    The first had a trust fund from his parents, 2 pets, and a lifetime of things. He, in seeing his health deteriorated, created a will within weeks of his death. The biggest takeaway from losing him was to reach out to family members, and let them know how you want your estate looked after. My husband and I are executors, working with his trustee, to preserve and make decisions on his estate to benefit our adult daughter with autism. That process is at a standstill due to COVID-19.

    The second was my younger brother, who passed suddenly last March. No will, no discussion. His family are his adult son and wife. young daughter and his ex-spouse. Being an organizer by nature, I threw myself at it, it was very eye opening. His total credit card debt was forgiven and I spent months of detective work finding out about life insurance, pensions, bank accounts, etc and handing them all over to his wife. He hid documents in old books, small investments years even decades old. His employer was very helpful and I did as much as I could to make things more transparent for his beneficiaries.
    The lesson in that one is organize your life, create a will, and document all of your accounts good and bad.

    My resolution is to get our estate planning in order, including wills, documenting our accounts and debts, and our wishes. That’s the greatest gift.

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