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The Best Gift is your Last Gift: How to Organize Your Affairs to Protect Those You Love Most

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People hear “get your affairs in order,” and they think, “It’s too soon for the pearly gates!” They think gloomily of angels with harps. Of St. Peter handing out gilded You Are Here maps. They think, The Big Good-bye.
But “affairs” simply means “documents that show what stuff you own.” (So affairs = documents.) And “getting them in order” just means “planning who your stuff will go to” since you can’t take it with you.
The really great news is, getting it done is way easier than you’ve been led to believe.
At first, some people translate “get your affairs in order” into meaning they have to become financial planners—that they need to know how to purchase and sell stocks and bonds. Not at all! It simply means making decisions about the stuff you already own.
Why should you get your documents in order? I’ll give you a hint. The reason isn’t really about you. And it isn’t about money. It’s about protecting your
family and belongings. It’s about protecting your family relationships.
Why should your spouse get their documents in order? So that you and your kids will be protected if your spouse becomes the dead guy first.
Fact is, eighty percent of women die alone, as widows. That means 80 percent of men die married. That means, ladies, it’s best to take care of this now, since you’ll almost certainly have to at some point.
Here’s a quick story.
In 2011, my husband, Tom, suddenly and unexpectedly died while our triplets were seniors in high school. Instantly I was thrust into getting all of our affairs in order. I’d had no idea how much work might be ahead of me if I lost my husband, or how much more terrible it would make the grieving process for our kids and me.

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