I hear this at least once every week from couples who don’t think about estate documents until one of them is very ill.

This past week, it was Mr. and Mrs. Brown,* a devoted older couple. Mrs. Brown has been caring for Mr. Brown, but she was recently diagnosed with a debilitating disease.

Fearful of what the near future might bring, they wanted an appointment right away to prepare their estate documents. I scheduled them as soon as I could.

I led them through each document, asking about the executor of their Wills, their Power of Attorney for Health and Mental Health and another for their Financial affairs - people who can carry out their wishes if they cannot. They even had backup names as I’d instructed them to, in case the people they name aren’t able to help when they’re needed. We prepared a Living Will for each of them, specifying when they wanted medical personnel to intervene on their behalf and when they did not.

In their Final Disposition Instructions, they stated their wish to have their ashes buried at the foot of the old oak tree, where they’d spent many hours through the years discussing everything from what to have for dinner to the meaning of life.

When we finished, the Browns weren’t the same fearful, tense couple they were when we began. Their peace of mind was evident in their smiles.

For your own peace of mind, call Janie Stover, Arizona Certified Legal Document Preparer (AZCLDP) of Southern Arizona Wills and Trusts at 520-240-6723.

*names changed for privacy

Winner AZ19 Reader’s Pick - Best Estate Planning

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