“Before I Go,” by Arie Korving – Book Review

From Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C.

Arie J. Korving is a Certified Financial Planner in the Northern Suffolk area who has written a booklet and workbook about how to handle one’s affairs near the end of life.

There are mini-chapters which give precise information on how to handle certain situations. The book is not long – approximately 50 pages. There are quotes from sages throughout history under the chapter headings, such as under Chapter Two from Solomon Short, “Death is the best part of life. That’s why they save it for last.”

What could be more true? It is the one experience, after birth, that we will all have in common. However, we can’t share our experiences of it, so we have others’ observations about it to think about in advance of this final event on life’s journey.

The message of the book is to plan well in order to make it easier for ones loved ones who must carry on. Remember, in some ways, the deceased person is the lucky one. All of his or her problems, cares, and worries are over. Relatives or significant others are the ones left with the headaches of wrapping up the details about taxes, property management, and bills.

Mr. Korving includes some very helpful advice that many people may have not previously considered. For example, if there is a safe deposit box to contend with, make sure someone besides the deceased is listed as having access to it. A signature card signed at the time the box is obtained indicates who has access. Also, keep a list in a safe place of what exactly is in the box. Korving also advises not keeping stock certificates or bonds in a safe deposit box. For those, he recommends keeping them in a brokerage account. This step will facilitate transition of the items to the heir(s).

Other helpful advice is included: what to do if someone doesn’t die in a hospital? He advises calling 911, even if you are not in your home area. Someone needs to officially pronounce the person deceased. In this same vein, he gives some things to think about in regard to the funeral or cremation, including some typical expenses.

The companion workbook has the benefit of helping one organize one’s personal information regarding all these details in one, handy location.

Copies of the book and workbook are available at bookstores, Amazon.com, or from the publisher. The exact title of the book is Before I Go–Preparing your Affairs for Your Heirs by Arie J. Korving. It’s a relatively short, informative read.

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