Estate Preparedness Defined
Estate Preparedness involves looking at all aspects of your estate and creating an environment that enables you and your family to prepare for and act on events that can disrupt your lives. These events could be natural or man-made disasters, power outages, civil unrest, foreign influences and death. In all of these cases, for you and your family to weather the storm and quickly get on a path to recovery, you need to prepare across all areas of your estate.
The three areas of Estate Preparedness are:
- Estate Planning – Creating legal
documents such as Wills, Trusts and Power of Attorney and documentation of
physical and digital property and other personal and financial information.
- Disaster Preparedness – Identifying,
procuring and organizing resources to reach a level of disaster preparedness
that provides the capability you need to sustain and protect your family.
- Emergency Planning – Defining potential
threats and the tasks to complete before, during and
after an event.
All of these preparedness areas need to be thoroughly completed but I highly recommend taking care of the following as soon as possible.
Taking care of the following items will greatly reduce anxiety and work on your executor and heirs if you become incapacitated or die. My father assured us he had his affairs in order and I didn’t take the time to follow through and verify that documentation existed and that I knew where they were. He passed quickly and unexpected and when we went to find his will and other documentation, they were not anywhere to be found. This caused stress and anxiety to all of us and was the last thing we needed to worry about during our grief. Please bless your family by at least taking care of the following:
- Will or Irrevocable Trust
- Power of Attorney for Financial and Medical Purposes
- Property Inventory
I know, I know. You don’t think it will happen to you. You don’t think things will get to the point that you can’t simply run to the store and get some food and water. You think that a power outage will only last a few hours or a couple of days. You trust that FEMA and the Red Cross are going to be there quickly to provide for the needs of your family. On the other hand, what if you are wrong about this? The following list will not cost you a lot of time, money or thought and will keep your family safe and sustain them until things get back to normal. At least for a minor disaster.
- 2 Weeks of food and water
- Generous first aid supplies for your home and each vehicle
- Personal water filter in each vehicle
- Family size water filter/purification system
- Emergency cash in small bills at home and in each vehicle
If there is a disaster and you have not worked on any emergency plans, chaos, fear and anxiety are going to take hold of you when something happens. There are several emergency plans that you need to develop but at least take care of these as a start. They do not have to be robust right off the bat, just start working on them.
- Family Communication Plan
- Home Fire Evacuation Plan
- Tornado Plan
- Evacuation Plan
As the leader of your family, it is your responsibility to provide for and take care of their needs. You do this on a daily basis by earning money, providing a secure environment, cooking, and cleaning etc. Estate Preparedness is just as important as the daily things you do but will be more important when a disaster or emergency happens. Don’t be complacent on this responsibility.
Need some help? CribSteward can help you with your Estate Preparedness Journey. Our Estate Preparedness Form Packet has checklists, resources and editable forms that help you to understand the tasks that need to be done and enables you to document and organize your estate information. If you have questions or would like some on-site help, see our On-Site Services page and fill out our Contact form. We would be happy to guide you on this journey.