Transforming Chaos into Clarity: Cal’s Legacy and the Importance of Financial Preparation

Cal, 78, was a bit of a country boy who took great pride in taking care of his family.  Cal had enough money to live life on his terms and was known as quite the MacGyver to his family—able to fix anything.

A loving and fun grandfather, he reveled in the fact that he could give his grandchildren a $20 bill when he saw them.  He was also glad to step in and help his daughters when they needed financial assistance.  Cal was a volunteer at heart and was eager to help those around him.

To his family, he was more than a man and slightly less than a god.  Secretly, you could tell he enjoyed embracing the role of Superman for his family.

However, Cal, like Superman, had his own kryptonite.  For Cal, it was dealing with his own mortality and his inability to come to grips with the fact that tomorrow is not promised.

One of his daughters, Rachel, who had grown into a strong independent woman and earned her own financial independence, lovingly pressed her father to stay on top of and understand where everything was: “Do you have everything you own written down anywhere?  If something happens, who do I call?  I don’t mean to pry, but I want to ensure I am able to carry out your wishes.”

The only response Rachel ever got was that “All the paperwork’s upstairs in my desk.”

As you might have guessed, Ol’ Cal eventually passed away peacefully in his sleep, nestled away at his farm with his bees buzzing as they pollenated his prized Blacked-Eyed Susan’s.

For the past two and a half years we’ve been working with Rachel to pick up the pieces of Cal’s complicated jigsaw puzzle.

Were all the puzzle pieces in his desk? We suppose maybe at one time?

Over the coming weeks, while also grieving. coordinating the services, and managing her own life and family, Rachel attempted to organize incoming statements at Cal’s farm from close to two dozen financial institutions.  Each their own unique process for closing and/or retitling accounts.

I felt terribly for Rachel. You could see how stressed she was with all of this and the toll it was taking.

In a perfect world, Cal would have beautifully ornate estate planning documents in place  that clearly outlined what was to happen at his death including a balance sheet disclosing all his assets.

His investments accounts would have been consolidated to a single custodian with beneficiaries properly listed.

His bank accounts would have been consolidated to a single institution, also with named beneficiaries.

His house and land could have been put into a trust.

This would have ensured most of Ol’ Cal’s assets avoided probate and more quickly and efficiently passed to his desired beneficiaries.

Simplicity REQUIRES intentionality.

At Know My Plan, we work very hard to help our clients get their ducks in a row.  We like to get this out of the way early and rest assured.  We make it so much less stressful than it has to be by providing recommendations on how to streamline your banking, investing, and insurance relationships.  Not only to help you, but ultimately benefit your loved ones!

*Rachel and her family are now settled and in a great place, but she’d be the first to share, it wasn’t easy and made her grieving process much more complicated.

If you or someone you’re close to is a high-achieving professional that could use help aligning their finances and establishing a financial plan, please reach out to us, we’re accepting new clients and eager to help.

Cheers, Nic

Subscribe to Dollars and Diagrams

Did you enjoy this?

Subscribe to Dollars & Diagrams for more!

More Guidance from Know My Plan

Your custom one-page financial plan

It all starts with a conversation

And walk away with a FREE financial plan!