Caring For Your Family

by Matt Schwartz

On January 13, 2013, my father-in-law passed away.  He had been battling poor health for several years but it was still hard for all of us (particularly Beth) and he was the first grandparent that Rebecca and Anna lost. When we went out to California to attend the funeral and sit shiva with our family, I could sense that my mother-in-law really needed to connect with her friends and family and not deal with financial details. I realized that the best way that I could help her was to facilitate the transfer of my father-in-law’s assets into her name.

We added her children as joint owners on her modest savings and checking account and helped her set up auto pay to transfer funds from her investment account to her bank account. Setting up her accounts this way allowed her to spend the last eight years of her life focusing on having special experiences with her friends and family. It was really the greatest gift that I could have ever given her.

What made this gift possible is that she trusted me unconditionally with her financial information. At Schwartz Montoya Legal, we provide our clients with an estate planning organizer that allows them to list details about their accounts, passwords and advisors to share with their families. Many of our clients complete our estate planning organizer to the best of their ability to help their families. Others appreciate our sentiment but never fill it out. Perhaps an additional incentive to complete the estate planning organizer would be the potentially significant cost savings it can provide your family in reduced legal fees during an estate administration by having your financial information organized in advance of your passing.

The greatest articulation of love for family that I recall hearing was during a eulogy from a client’s granddaughter. During the eulogy, she stated that she always would offer to thank her grandfather for his generosity during his lifetime and he would always say that you can thank me at the end. At the eulogy, she thanked him at the end and that is the way he wanted it. He just wanted them to use the money in whatever way would help them the most.

Consider showing your love for your family this Valentine’s Day by organizing your financial and legal information and giving some thought to how you want to be remembered by your family. Please give our office a call or send us a text at (412) 419-1005 or email us at if you would like to discuss planning for you and your loved ones.

If you had your documents prepared many years ago and do not have a copy of our estate planning organizer or would like another copy, please click this link to obtain your free download.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez 🇨🇦 on Unsplash

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