By Dr. Fred Hueston, CFRE, Director of Gift Planning at the Ranch:
A friend of the Ranch recently shared with me a suggestion that his and his family have incorporated into their overall estate planning, and it is an idea with some important relevancy for today.
In his home office, near where he keeps important papers and business records, he has a knapsack labeled “Go bag.” Inside this backpack are the original of his Will, his insurance papers for his house life insurance, copies of his passport, driver’s license, checking account statements, and also contact information for all of his professional advisors (life insurance agent, pastor, his adult children names, addresses and phone numbers).
In addition, he shared with me that he, of course, has a safety deposit box at a local bank that has many of the originals of the items mentioned above. But, as an added precaution to all of this, his two adult children (who live in two separate cities, two states apart) also have photocopies of the aforementioned business and investment papers.
This is a very important idea for us all to consider – in some form! Having been the executor for several of our Ranch donor’s estates over the years, I can share honestly with you that more often than not, I’ve spent a great deal of time looking through desk drawers and files, trying to locate a title to a car or a deed to a house, and coming up with nothing!
Over the years, as our sons have reached adulthood, my wife and I have discussed our estate plans with them in general terms. I have shown to them where our wills are located, and also, over time I have introduced them to our advisors (insurance, investment, our banker, etc.). And, of course, they know our pastor well.
However, I am convinced that this “Go Bag” has a great deal of merit to it – especially since the gentleman who described this to me lives in the path of some potentially severe weather patterns, which he has witnessed first-hand over the years.
“Preparedness” is something we try to instill in the youth here at the Ranch on a daily basis. Perhaps the “Go Bag” is an idea we should consider within our own lives as well!
For more information about estate planning, please contact Dr. Fred Hueston at (501) 681-6501 or email the Ranch’s Development Office through our website.