Tomasino was a retired coal miner and a gentle, uncomplicated man. Julia was always smiling and beloved by all. They were out driving one Saturday in their family 4 wheel drive when an undiagnosed Parkinson seizure made Tomasino black out and cross to the wrong side of the road, hitting a station wagon coming the other way. Multiple fatalities resulted including Julia. Their daughter Amy called us the following day seeking help, not knowing where to start. We had copies of their will and introduced lawyers that helped Amy take care of Julia’s estate. Tomasino was able to sign necessary documents but his wife’s estate was not complex nor were legal matters a real issue.
Tomasino was a physical mess, with a shattered left leg and badly broken pelvis he was in and out of hospital for 7 months and went to live with Amy permanently. However Amy only owned a small car with 3 children of her own.
Tomasino required dozens of trips to the doctors and specialists and getting around was a real problem requiring specialist disability taxis and time off work. They lived in a country town lacking big city medical facilities meaning these trips to the doctor were lengthy, expensive and time consuming. There were many months of frustration as Amy sorted through the piles of paperwork that her mother Julia left behind.
Most frustrating of all was the financial impact, losing her primary baby sitter in Julia, Amy had to reduce her hours at work and take further time off work to take her father to hospital. Her little car simply couldn’t carry her father with his crutches and leg in a cast. She had to beg and borrow cars from friends to get him to and from hospital and therapy. Finding the vehicle insurance paperwork took 4½ months and it took a further 4 weeks for Amy to replace her father’s car –ultimately taking 5½ months to resolve. Moving her father around became simpler and far less of a financial burden. Simply having an Information that Matters record which listed the insurance company and policy number would have saved Amy and Tomasino literally months of frustration and cost.
The Good News
Recording this information is actually quite easy if you approach things methodically. Estate Planning For Life meets this need by producing a detailed Information That Matters report to addresses the following broad categories:
The Estate Planning For Life (EPFL) process captures the relevant information in the Information That Matters record and makes it easy for family or supporting advisers to understand the financial circumstances that pertain to the deceased or ill person.
But while having the legal authority to act and the right information crucial, it is not enough. The EPFL Crisis Management Plan will steer the family through a prioritised list of issues helping you to address the critical priorities.