I was recently appointed the Trustee of a law firm for an attorney who’d suddenly passed away. I can tell you firsthand, walking into a law practice blind is no small mountain to climb. By the end of this, I’m sure I will be able to give a pretty interesting CLE on the topic.

One theme I keep repeating to myself in the process is “WOW. I need to make sure I have a PLAN.” It doesn’t have to be incredibly detailed but there does need to be some sort of structure and organization to your law practice, particularly your finances, and someone besides yourself needs to understand it.

Whenever I sit down with an estate planning client, I like to have a conversation about PLANNING – plans that cannot and will not be articulated in a Will or a Trust. Things that are not going to exist in a legal document. Things like:

1. Are all your passwords written down on a document and stored in a place where your loved ones can find them?

2. Did you make a list of all your assets to keep with your passwords?

3. Do you have a TOD designation on your car title?

4. Have you prepaid for the dispose of your remains so your loved ones don’t have to make those decisions in times of stress?

5. Do you want to decide what music is played at your funeral Mass?

While it’s uncomfortable to talk about when you’re alive, making some of these decisions now would make life infinitely easier after your death for those still walking the Earth. Think about the tough things sometimes! Transitions are hard. Death is harder.