Despite the deluge of advertisements and offers that greets us as we approach and finally reach “Black Friday” there is something we never seem to see among those things we are supposed to buy. Better than toys or a new TV, better than watches or cameras or even new car, there is something just about all of us could use but almost certainly will not think about, let alone pursue.
What is it? In general terms we could call it a checkup on our future, a review of the status of all those things we should do but probably haven’t. Things like the naming of a person to act for us in the event we are unable to do so – the durable power of attorney for financial affairs and the health care power to address our medical needs. Who will act for you if something happens? You may think there is someone in your life who will step up and take care of things but without a clear, written directive from YOU, it will take time and may be difficult to get done when you are not available and have not taken the time to make things clear.
Interestingly, many attorneys and advisors will offer you a free consultation on such matters as a preliminary step to putting things in place to protect you and your loved ones. But we rarely hear that such a free consultation is available and certainly not now in the midst of desperate sales tactics by so many merchants. Perhaps that might be a good marketing plan for these professionals, getting into the discussion on what is available to people at this time of year and what is truly important in their lives.
After all, that new toy will be out of favor if not broken before the new year while taking a few small steps to make sure your loved ones (and you) are protected in the event you are no longer able to act for them or yourself will have a lasting impact. Yes, it is a lot easier to go shopping for an unnecessary gift for a family member or yourself, but making an effort that will make a difference down the road is worth that extra push.