I have no family what do I do….

I wasn’t sure what to write about today.  To come up with an inspiration I just looked at my calendar to see what clients I have met with this week. Just yesterday’s clients gave me 3 good ideas. I am going to tell you about my meeting with a man we will call Tom.  Of course that is not his real name. 

He arrived early as he had taken the bus to see me.  He told me he was not a wealthy man but he had two main concerns: 1) who would get his treasured collection of classical music and books and 2) what would happen to him if he were on life support?

See Tom has absolutely no family around here.  He has one sister, on the east coast, and no other family members.  In fact, he doesn’t have a lot of friends. He is retired, lives in an apartment, and listens to classical music. As he told me, “his books and music are his friends.”  He was an incredibly interesting guy to talk to by the way. Anyway, with no family he has two problems: 1) who should he give his stuff to and 2) who should make decisions for him when he can not do it any longer?

The first was relatively easy.  Tom told me he didn’t want someone to receive his prized possessions who wouldn’t cherish them like he does.  He said, “what do you think about giving it to the library?”  I told him that was a fabulous idea.  We looked it up on-line and the Sacramento Public Library has a foundation to receive gifts called the Sacramento Public Library Foundation.  While I am sure they prefer cash gifts it sounds like Tom’s treasures will supply our local libraries with tons of great cd’s, dvd’s, and books.  Of course, the people who check them out will cherish the use of these items.  That’s a win-win!

Ok, now the harder question… who should make decisions for him?  His sister being so far, and elderly herself, he didn’t feel she made good sense. Having no close friends his choices were limited.  I explained how private professional fiduciaries work and he thought that sounded great.  For more information you can go to www.pfac-pro.org 

Professional fiduciaries are licensed professionals who have the job of taking care of your affairs (financial, personal and medical) when you can no longer do it when you don’t have anybody else. They are simply great for people like Tom without family or friends.  We selected a few that I knew and trusted. That way there are back-ups in case the first or second choices aren’t available. Problem solved!

Tom is not my typical client as most of my clients tend to be financially wealthier or have young children they want to protect. However, we are always happy to meet with you to talk about simple wills, powers of attorney for financial affairs and powers of attorney for medical. The cost is not great and we can give you great peace of mind.

Call or email me to discuss!  -John

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