Sunday, July 25, 2010

Wisdom During Trying Times

I never knew Rob Jaffee, but he appears to have been the type of client any estate planning attorney would enjoy working with. As described in this article written by Rob's brother, Chuck Jaffee, Rob had the wisdom to convince his reluctant wife to meet with an estate planning attorney to design and implement their estate plan. Two years later, Rob died at 57 just weeks after being diagnosed with a rare disease.

I was moved by these comments Rob made to his brother as the end came near:

Eileen [Rob's wife] didn't want to go meet the lawyers and set everything up, because it was focusing on death and dying at a time when everything was good and happy. But focusing on death and dying while you are living, that's easy; having to focus on death when you are dying, that would be unimaginable. ... Tell people not to let that happen.
People often ask me, "when is it the right time to 'do' my estate plan?"  My standard (and somewhat flip) response:  "six months before you know your going to die, give me a call and we'll get to work."  Coming from an estate planning attorney, my recommendation that people get their estate planning done now may come off as self-serving.  But perhaps reading Rob Jaffee's profound thoughts of the benefit to he and his family of putting together an estate plan before a crisis struck will strike a chord with some people who know they need to do an estate plan, but always find an excuse not to find the time. 

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