October 2003, my dad’s physician advised him, “Mr. Kaizerman,
it’s time to put your life in order.” Suffering the
effects of pancreatic cancer, Dad was given only three to six months
to live. As you can imagine, our family went through all sorts of
emotions, but eventually Dad turned to me and said the time had
indeed arrived to put things in order.
a financial advisor, I already knew much of what that would
mean. I went through all the files, locating titles to automobiles,
identifying bank and investment accounts, and so on. As I
did this with my dad’s guidance, we decided it was also
a good time to throw away the stuff that wasn’t needed,
like old tax returns and receipts going back twenty or thirty
one drawer, I found Dad’s military discharge paperwork
from the 1940s, and I was ready to toss it when he said it
was an important document I should save. I thought, It’s
been almost sixty years since he completed his service. Why
would anyone need to see his discharge paperwork? But, oh
well, it was only one more sheet of paper, and obviously it
still meant a lot to my father, so I kept it.
battle with cancer came to an end in April 2004. My brother
and I went to the mortuary to arrange for his burial. In planning
the memorial service, the funeral director asked the typical
questions, but one took us by surprise: He asked if our dad
was a veteran. We replied yes, and he informed us that the
federal government provides a complimentary U.S. flag for
the coffin of all veterans. Our dad had always been very patriotic,
and we knew that this would be important to him.
one thing we need, the funeral director advised us: Some information
that is on your father’s military discharge paperwork.
Did we know where it was? We smiled. Dad had made sure we
would know where to find that information. We were so grateful
that our dad got his stars and stripes.
Dad and I created the first beneficiary directory, and it
worked. Since then, I have developed additional tools for
helping people and their advisors create a fully integrated,
personal system for putting their own lives in order. For
our family, the important form was military discharge paperwork;
with someone else it may be an IRA beneficiary designation
form, a marriage certificate, or life insurance policy. The
Beneficiary Directory™ is your personal system to organize
important documents and guide your beneficiaries. On behalf
of your beneficiaries, I thank you.