I remember the challenge of explaining to my then 9-year-old daughter that her beloved teacher would not be coming back to school. Her teacher had just lost her older brother and sister-in-law in a car accident, and had to move back to her home country and parent her young niece and nephew.
The unthinkable had happened.
I remember learning that one of my daughter’s childhood friends was adopted not once, but twice. First from an orphanage in Mexico, and then by family friends when her single adoptive mother died from breast cancer.
Again, the unthinkable had happened.
I didn’t want to think about the “unthinkable” – yet my husband and I needed to have the hard conversations. To put a will in place and determine who should raise our two daughters should the worst happen. His family? My family?
Apparently, I’m not alone in avoiding the “unthinkable,” but if Covid-19 has taught us anything, it’s the importance of planning for the worst.
Sadly, more than 2 out of 3 Americans still don’t have a legal will in place. In 2022, simple procrastination remains the number one reason, with 40% saying they just haven’t gotten around to it.
Well now’s the time – August is Make-a-Will month!
But estate planning is not just for parents – it’s critical for all of us. For our families and loved ones, for our own peace of mind, and even for the charities we care about.
I recently heard from Colleen, a former board member who chose to name C.A.S.E. in her will. “The work C.A.S.E. does is so very important and I wish I’d known about it sooner to help our son with his struggles. By including C.A.S.E. in our estate plans, we can be sure other families get the help they need.” Colleen and her husband Ron are now recognized as members of C.A.S.E.’s 1998 Legacy Society.
So, what are you waiting for? Take the first step and get organized with this helpful list of key documents to have in one place.
You can find free online resources to create a legal will yourself or work with an attorney. Creating or updating your will guarantees your estate is under your control with tax advantages, protects your family, and ensures that the causes you believe in continue their good work into the future.
Thinking about the “unthinkable” is easier than you think!
Written by Tamara Arsenault, C.A.S.E. Director of Development, former foster parent