Optional Suffering. That’s how Chanel Reynolds described the aftermath when her husband died suddenly. Reynolds said “…it was hard to stay present in the room…and hear what doctors were saying, because I was so overwhelmed with not knowing how much money we had in our checking account…and whether I was going to be able to float a family by myself.”

She shared her personal experience so that other might avoid the same hardship; sorting through bills, insurance policies, bank accounts, assets and other costly life details in order to go on after death. It cost a fortune in legal fees. What saved her was life insurance. It bought her time.

Life insurance is just one aspect of what Reynolds calls “intentional financial planning.”
We all know what’s involved: a will, a review of savings and assets, and selecting people to care for children or elders. We all know. But do we do it? Hardly ever.

Making final plans is an aspect of financial planning that is often missed. It spares survivors similar optional suffering: What were his/her final wishes? What funds are available to carry out those wishes? Who can help me through all of this?

Having a trusted, holistic Financial Advisor can make a difference. Someone who isn’t just recommending certain investments and adjusting your portfolio: a trained Advisor who helps you with your finances from here and now into the future…planning for your family, your retirement, as well as for your death.

If we can’t do it on our own, hiring a professional to remind and cajole us into action could spare a lot of pain in the future.  Get a referral from someone who cares about you. And make your final plans.
Ron Lieber wrote about Chanel Reynolds for the New York Times. A print article appeared on January 12, 2013, on page B1 of the New York edition with the headline: A Shocking Death, a Financial Lesson and Help for Others.