Parker County Today July 2016 - Page 15

our law: COLUMN Make Difficult Times Easier for Loved Ones By Mark Haney, Partner, Puls Haney Kaiser PLLC I recently experienced the loss of my father. It was a very sad time. However, as he had done all of his life, my father taught me a lesson even in his death. Unknown to me, he had taken the time to plan for his parting down to the smallest details. This was due in part to his long bout with cancer, which provided him the chance to think about these matters. What his thoughtfulness and planning provided to us, his family, during our time of grief, was truly a gift. In the days following his death, we were overwhelmed; there were so many things that needed to be addressed immediately, including planning his funeral service, writing his obituary, notifying his pallbearers, selecting songs, arranging for his internment, picking out a coffin and headstone, getting notice out to friends and family, etc. My dad told me a few things that stuck with me as he prepared for his passing: “No one gets out alive.” “Growing up is not for sissies.” “Make peace with everyone.” “Remember God’s grace is sufficient.” My hope for each of you is that you get through the loss of your loved ones as easily as possible, and that you and your family take advantage of the chance to alleviate the stress of passing loved ones. My father’s efforts in this regard were a wake-up call to me and I have gotten busy trying to be as prepared as he was. If you need help with wills, estates, probate, or guardianship, please give our firm a call. We will do our best to help. PA R K E R C O U N T Y T O D AY His preparations also accelerated the processing of his estate, saving us time and money. Although as a lawyer I knew of the opportunity and the need to make all of these arrangements as thoroughly as possible prior to death, it took my father’s death to teach me how important taking advantage of these opportunities would be to our peace of mind. As a result of his thoughtfulness, there was no I miss my father and think of him every day. I love and appreciate the time he took to teach me how to be a better person. My heart goes out to all who are dealing with death or illness, and I pray that you find comfort. It was all much harder than I had imagined. Even though I had time to get my head around it, I really was not as prepared as I thought I was when my father actually passed. JULY 2016 However, he made this process as easy as possible by doing such a good job of planning for these events and getting his affairs in order. It seems that almost every time we considered his life insurance, savings accounts, titles to vehicles, trailers and farm equipment, details of his funeral, and the list goes on, he was several steps ahead of us. He had already made arrangements to take care of these matters or had the necessary paperwork in organized files so we could work smoothly through these issues without adding a lot of stress to what was already a difficult time. arguing or speculation over what we believed his wishes were or how he wanted to gift from his estate, or how to arrange his funeral. What a gift to our family! While I know we cannot predict the time of our death, I think, to the extent we can, we should all take a long sober look at our wills, estate plans, and funeral arrangements, and, if possible, address these matters in sufficient detail so that our families are as well taken care of as we can make them under the circumstances. I learned firsthand that doing so is an act of profound love and kindness. 13