Having Documents is Important. So is Remembering Where You Put them.

Having Documents is Important. So is Remembering Where You Put them.

Last week I got a frightening phone call. It was the hospital emergency room calling, telling me that my grandmother was there. I won't go into any further details out of respect for her privacy, except to say that she is fine and was discharged the same day. But it was a frightening call nonetheless.

Before I head out the door to go to the hospital, I just had to grab the Designation of Health Care Surrogate that she executed, designating me the person who could make health care decisions for her in case she was incapacitated. I, like the good estate planning attorney I am, made sure that all of her documents are current and up to date. Like I said, I just needed to grab the Designation of Health Care Surrogate, and out the door I'd go.

Now, where did I put it again?

Crap.

Have you ever heard the phrase, "the cobbler's children have no shoes"? Well, when it truly mattered, when I may have needed to run out the door with the documents, I didn't remember where I kept them. That's not very smart.

I eventually found them and went to the hospital. It turned out that I didn't need them anyway. But I have certainly learned my lesson, and will not make the same mistake in the future.

Visit South Florida Estate Planning Law for more commentary from Florida estate planning attorney David Shulman.

David Shulman is an attorney located in South Florida who focuses his practice on Wills, Trusts and Estates, and Tax Planning. He attended George Washington University Law School and Brandeis University, both of which he graduated with honors. In addition David received his LLM in Estate Planning from the University of Miami Law School. Prior to starting his own practice, David worked for the Internal Revenue Service and a large South Florida law firm.