Will Based Planning
The Will Plan, or The Plan in Memory of Ryan
My 29-year-old son Ryan, married to Renae who was expecting their first child, was shot and killed on April 13, 2005. His assets were small but if there’s any type of planning he could have done, it would have been a Will Plan.
This plan designates an individual to be in charge of distributing the assets. The selection of the person in charge can be an area of contention among family members without the most basic planning. Frequently if there is no will naming an executor, the person in charge, the children may fight and litigate over who will be in charge.
The Will Plan includes an Advanced Health Care Directive that would have been important if I was told when I arrived at the hospital that he was shot seven times and there was only a very minimal chance of recovery. We would have been forced to confront the question, “What would he have wanted… Keep him on life support or remove life support?” Plus the family issues of what I want, what did his mother want, and most importantly what did Renae want to happen in that situation.
Every person should have an Advanced Health Care Directive.
This plan would have also given him an opportunity to make in advance, the decisions in such areas as organ donation and funeral arrangements. I know most 29-year-olds, even when given the opportunity, will not do anything about these two areas but at least, perhaps they thought about it and they can possibly reduce the trauma, loss and heartache if something unexpected and terrible happens. This plan also names a Guardian to take care of minor children in the event both parents are killed suddenly. All too frequently, we hear the tragedy of an accident and both parents being killed and then the question becomes “Who will take care of the children?” This plan addresses those issues.
As I write this, I am in a Los Angeles Probate Court, which is in the middle of a trial deciding the issue of who should be the guardian of the children.