How LEO – Life Estate Organizer Came to Be
One of the most frequent question that I’m asked when speaking with people about our life and estate planning tool, LEO is, “How did you come up with it?” Well, here’s our little story…
It All Started with Business as Usual
My wife, Mary Ann and I consulted with an estate planning service to create our financial estate plan. We filled out the copious worksheets and ultimately received a bound plan identifying how our portfolio was expected to perform over the next several years. We felt comfortable with our plan and decided to take the next step to update our handwritten, very informal Last Will and Testament (LWT).
We contacted our attorney and began the process by filling out yet another worksheet, answering a number of questions regarding our estate. We used our financial estate plan as a basis for creating our LWT. Our attorney was very thorough in questioning us and helping us create our LWT, Trust, Living Will, Power of Attorney and Health Care Power of Attorney. Although our attorney’s process gave us comfort, we were covering all bases, it was a tedious process to complete. Finally, we had answered all the questions, made our decisions regarding trusted individuals appointed to perform various functions related to our estate and possibly our quality of life. We identified beneficiaries, signed all of our estate documents and had our signed copies in hand. We were extremely satisfied and communicated to our attorney that we were very glad to have completed the process.
In summary, our attorney made us think about the who, what, where and how of our estate. The end result was we better understood our property and assets and were happy to be finished with all of that planning.
That’s when our attorney threw us a curve ball. He said we were not finished. We asked what he meant by that? He said YOU HAVE TO ORGANIZE YOUR PERSONAL ESTATE. We asked what does that mean and he went on to explain. We asked if there was a guide, estate planning checklist or online software that could help us organize our estate. He said none he was aware of.
Light Bulb Moment
So, we started the process of documenting our personal estate. We had no checklist, no template or online estate planning guide of any kind to help us with the process. We were going to have to wing this all the way to a conclusion. After investing a considerable amount of time, we ended up with ninety-two pages of estate information printed in landscape. We know our estate is much smaller than most and bigger than some others, but we were shocked about the extent of information required to settle it all.
Once we were finished, again, we discussed the fact we were probably not alone and that others must have the same problem. We decided to pursue the development of a comprehensive software program to accomplish the organization of estate matters… and importantly life details as well.
Identify the problem:
- People need help organizing their personal and estate information.
- No online solution existed.
- Estate executors should not have to look for clues as to what estate issues need to be resolved, i.e. relying on mail, statements, files, etc., searching file cabinets (where are they anyway?), desk drawers (where’s the key?), safes (combination?), etc. to find important documents.
- Things can be forgotten if not documented and identified. E.g. old life insurance policies, cash stored in the house, etc.
- Arguments occur over unassigned things such as rings, watches, furniture, artwork, photos, etc.
- Accounting for digital devices, software, email addresses, user IDs, passwords, etc.
- Not knowing what the deceased was involved with over their lifetime?
- What needs to be resolved and who should be contacted to resolve any issues?
- No checklist or program to follow in the resolution of life and estate issues.
- The deceased is gone, and so is their knowledge. Now what do I do?
- Identify personal estate issues to be resolved and not covered in an LWT.
- Communicate life issues.
- Take the guesswork out of organizing your life and estate.
- Make the program very easy to use.
- Create a menu of life and estate issues for the user to select only the pertinent issues regarding their personal life and estate.
- Create a secure, online storage for uploading important documents, information, personal and family history, photos, etc.
- Resolve life and estate issues in the user’s absence in an efficient manner.
- Program to inform relatives, loved ones, trusted individuals or anyone else as assigned by user.
- Keep peace in the family.
- Achieve Peace of Mind for the user.
Our business approach resulted in the creation of our Life Estate Organizer, LEO.
LEO is a comprehensive digital, online, easy to use, software program. LEO presents relevant life and estate fields for the user to fill out. The user decides what they want their loved ones, trusted individuals and others to know about their estate. They can share all or some information with those they identify on an individual basis, meaning they select when and what they can access from their LEO.
LEO is designed for your use or you can engage a trusted individual to assist you in filling out LEO.
You can access LEO at any time, filling it out over a period of time convenient to you.
LEO can store life and estate information and users can upload other important estate documents, photos and life files to LEO.
An integral part of LEO is the LEO Security System (LSS) deploying Bank Grade Security to ensure information is secure and only accessible by the user and those the user trusts.
LEO is a wonderful gift to your loved ones and trusted individuals. It effectively communicates the estate issues to be addressed in your absence and communicates your life experiences for future generations.