Frequently Asked Questions: The Just In Case Letter

Rabbi Dan Levin: One of the greatest gifts that my father gave me, I remember I was 22 years old. I was home from college and my dad called me into his office at home and he says, “Do you have a few minutes?” I said, “Sure.” And he handed me an envelope. And I said, “What’s this?” He says, “This is the just in case letter.” I said, “What’s the just in case letter?” He says, “Well, this is just in case something happens to mom or to me. I need you to know where everything is.” And he took me on a tour of his office and he showed me where all the stocks are. And he showed me where he kept his records. He showed me where the burial plots were that he had purchased back in 1972. 

And I remembered that when he got sick and he wasn’t able to care for himself, and ultimately when he died, I was so grateful to have that updated letter that he used to give me every five years or so, when there was a different accountant or a different broker then. I was able to use that letter as his guide for me to help to move my mother and our family to the next step.