Count Your Blessings

‘Count Your Blessings - and determine how to pass them on’ urges columnist inspired by his late brother. Writer Chuck Jaffe learned the power of planning from his brother, who suffered from a rare disease that eventually took his life.

Most things that require time, effort, and sacrifice eventually offer some sort of gratification. You have children; you get to see them act cute, become adults, and have a life of their own. You work and save money; you get to go on a nice vacation or buy a new car. You donate to charity; you can follow-up and see the lives affected by your kindness. You deep clean your home; you revel in its freshness. You create a great estate plan…well, this is different.

When your estate plan proves its worth, you’re not around to witness it. The same goes with being an organ donor. You don’t get to experience the results firsthand, but you already know the benefits. You’ve seen heartwarming stories of people saved by donation, like a mother hearing her late son’s heart beating inside another child. You’ve also heard stories of the turmoil created -- anger, betrayal, endless court battles and family rifts that may never fully heal -- when there wasn’t a proper estate plan in place.

Writer Chuck Jaffe learned the power of planning from his brother, who suffered from a rare disease that eventually took his life. In a column titled 'My brother can rest in peace because he got his affairs in order in time,' Jaffe details how his brother urged him to tell people to “get their affairs in order before they were in a time of need and distress.” His brother did just that, having a plan in place well before his passing. Aside from it being the responsible thing to do, an estate plan is done out of love:

But if one of the lessons of Rob’s passing was the importance of having your affairs squared away before there’s a real concern for your own mortality, another is the story that is never told, the one where proper estate planning allows the family to grieve and move on and avoid drama, conflict, taxes and undue headaches.

...it’s important to count your blessings — and determine how to pass them on — long before it’s time for your transition to whatever lies ahead.

The process, he found, created peace of mind when it was most necessary. He hoped others could get the same feeling out of the process.

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