Jay Scheiner JD CLU
Executive Vice President
Agent Support Group
an AmeriLife company

What If?  My father passed away seven years ago after Alzheimer’s slowly stole his mind and then his body. He was 93 and I miss him every day. Among other wonderful gifts my dad gave me, my mom and siblings, was a thick file called “What If.” Created when he knew he would soon be unable to manage his affairs, the file contained important information we would need to know when he was gone. This included everything from his funeral and burial wishes, to details on his finances, to a list of important advisors to contact – attorneys, accountants, etc. He told us how he wanted his funeral to flow, who should speak, even how people should dress (bright colored dresses for women – ties for men).

My dad’s What If file contained passwords we would need, banking and personal property information and account numbers, and where things were located. He included information about his life insurance policies such as company names and policy numbers. My father expressed his personal wishes for each of us and our children, and he reminded us that he had given his jewelry and cherished items to us when he was first diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

I’m Dead. Now What? – As insurance advisors we know there is nothing more important than helping our clients plan for the unexpected. But death comes to all of us – the only question is when. I’m Dead. Now What? is the quirky title for several peace-of-mind planners (a few have toned-down titles such as Peace of Mind Planner or What To Do When I Die, etc.). Like my dad’s, What If file, they espouse a no-nonsense approach to organizing a person’s legal matters, health, financial affairs, location of wills, personal instructions and more. You enter the information in the guided planner and keep it in a secure location.

A Practical Gift – What an impact you would make if you gave each client this valuable gift. For about the price of a bottle of Merlot, you can set a spark that can lead to an in-depth conversation that may naturally flow to estate planning topics such as updating wills, life insurance, correct beneficiary designations and funding for long term care needs.