"It makes me feel good that my experience has created an impact on others to be more prepared for the future."
Jon and Holly Gasperi were married on March 1, 2008. They had a son, Tyler, on February 26, 2009. It seemed like everything was in place for their new life together. On May 8, 2009, with no warning, Jon died at work from a sudden heart attack at the age of 43. Tyler was only 10 weeks old.
Holly was immediately faced with literally hundreds of decisions in the midst of her shock and grief. It seemed like every moment was consumed with finding out details about bank accounts, credit cards, assets and other financial matters. In the meantime, she had to come to grips with the reality that her husband and Tyler’s father was gone. Today, her shock has been tempered, but the reality is still raw. She comes home and expects to see him. “I haven’t moved any of his things, not even his dirty old work boots from the back door,” she says. “That would mean I am ready to put things behind and you just don’t want to forget anything, even the smallest of memories…”
Since Holly works in insurance, she and Jon had taken a look at their financial needs and made sure they had adequate life insurance in place once their son was born. But what they hadn’t planned for was everything else. After his death, Holly was left trying to determine what was in Jon’s estate, who would take care of Tyler now if something happened to her, and what needed to be handled both financially and personally.
The first thing many married couples do is plan for their new lives together. There’s so much to think about - starting a family, taking vacations, buying the first home – and it seems like your whole lives are in front of you to plan it all together.
“Given our age, we thought we had time to get our entire plan in place. And there was so much we hadn’t even discussed yet, like guardianship, wills, or even final burial matters. I couldn’t believe all the things that had to be attended to after Jon’s passing,” recalls Holly.
Today, Holly is prepared for the future with the Personal and Family Record. This record is a comprehensive document for all her insurance and financial affairs as well as an organization tool for details such as attorney and estate, trustee and guardianship information.
Holly’s experience has spurred her family and friends to begin using the Personal and Family Record also.
“It makes me feel good that my experience has created an impact on others to be more prepared for the future.”
“I wish we would have filled this out before. Life insurance isn’t just all you need. Knowing I have this record in place now gives me a greater sense of security and peace of mind because my loved ones won’t have to worry about all the details.”
Holly Gasperi is a COUNTRY Financial employee.