Today, I am going to share a story with you. This one involves the consequences of not preparing for the unexpected. At the age of 21, I lost my father suddenly. It was horrible. One minute he was right there with me…we were driving in my car that I was so proud of since I had it bought myself. I was becoming a man. I wanted to show my dad that he has raised a capable man. As we were talking, I noticed that he had started to cough intensely. Now, he had always coughed, the effects of being a smoker, but nothing like this. I got this eerie feeling that something was wrong. Naturally being a worrier, I was scared immediately. I pleaded with my father to go and see a doctor. He said he was fine, but he would go and see a physician when he went back to Michigan. Of course, I called to follow up, but if you know anything about midwestern people, they never see doctors! This decision turned out to be fatal. By the time my dad had gone to the hospital, it was too late. It turned out that he had a blockage in his intestine that lead to gangrene. This gangrene turned into an infection that spread throughout his body. I took the next flight I could get, and went directly to the hospital with my little sister who was only 17. When we arrived at the hospital, my father had so many tubes in him; it didn’t look like him at all. I was told by the physicians in a very cold manner that his prognosis was very poor, and during the time I was in flight, he also had bleeding in his brain, and possibly a stroke. I was devastated. The tears ran down my face uncontrollably. The doctors didn’t seem to care at all. No empathy, no compassion. My father fought to survive for 31 days. I got to watch all of it. There is no pain like watching someone who means the world to you die right in front of you. This pain never goes away. Time does not heal all wounds. I didn’t get to speak to my father because the tubes were in his mouth; all I got to do was hold his hand. He held mine as if to say goodbye. The worst goodbye of my life. The one that still haunts me.
Unfortunately, after the passing of my father, I had to deal with his estate. He did not create a trust, and out of his million-dollar estate my sister and I got less than $90,000. The government, a corrupt uncle, and our ignorance of estate planning lead to the loss of our father’s assets along with him. Had my father taken the time to create a trust, my sister and I would have been able to pay for our education, a home and for our own children. The loss of a loved one in itself is immense pain. In my case, losing my father, having a horrible step grandparent who abused me, and a step father who didn’t care for me lead to me being responsible for my self and my sister. That money would have eased my financial burden, although nothing could ease my pain. You can’t control when someone passes, but you can control whether your loved ones will only suffer your loss rather than both your loss and financial ruin.
Creating a proper estate plan will ensure that your loved ones get the assets that you have worked your whole life to achieve. Please don’t let your children suffer the same fate I did when my father passed away.
My experience made me pursue a career in law and I have dedicated my life to creating trusts (comprehensive estate plans) for you. I may not be able to help you with the loss of your loved one, but I can help you protect their assets and yours. You will pass away and it’s up to your protect the ones you care about!