Why Prepare Your Affairs?

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My personal journey that has led to helping people get their affairs in order started in 2015.

One night in June, I returned home late from a work trip to Orlando due to weather delays. When the plane finally touched down in Portland after midnight, I turned my phone on hoping to hear about my daughters’ experiences at an Imagine Dragons concert from that night. Instead, I found this text from my wife, “So I’m being admitted [to the hospital]. Give me a call when you land. Room 207a.”

Thus began a journey that started with what doctors thought was pancreatitis. Two endoscopies later the diagnosis was changed to pancreatic cancer. Doctors were sure they caught it early enough and felt that performing a complex, eight-to-ten-hour operation called the Whipple procedure would significantly improve her chances of long-term survival. After checking her in, the nurse gave me a pager and I settled in the long wait. Thirty minutes later the pager buzzed. Fifteen minutes later I was in a small waiting room with the surgeon. He explained that they found evidence that the cancer had metastasized to the liver and immediately ended the surgery. He elevated the cancer to stage four and then accurately predicted that this would end her life.

Fourteen months later I became a widower at the age of 48.

While I FELT prepared that I could manage widowhood, I quickly realized I was in over my head. Judas Priest’s “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’” could have been my theme song as I pretended to know what I was doing. I made many mistakes and it wasn’t until I found a widow and widower support group that I began to understand the complexity of grief and the burden of death.

Widows and widowers use the support group as a safe place to share their frustrations, successes, and lessons learned about moving forward in life after their spouses died. As I heard and read about these experiences, I found myself continually saying, “I wish I’d known that.” After remarrying, Katie and I continue to participate in the support group and still find ourselves wishing we’d known better. And based on the comments from others, we weren’t alone.

After many of these types of conversations, we decided that maybe we can take our experience and help others avoid some of the same mistakes we made by preparing them in advance for the burdens that are created by the death of a spouse. And thus, Prepare Your Affairs was born.

It’s strange to be excited to talk to people about such a taboo topic, but we’re learning that so many others are concerned about their lack of end-of-life planning and don’t know how to address it.

If you’re in that boat, too, then we’re happy to help. The process is simple:
1. Sign up to learn more
2. Get educated
3. Make a plan
4. Enjoy peace of mind and confidence knowing that you’ve prepared your family for the time when you or your spouse dies


Prepare Your Affairs Founders


Corey and Katie entered widowhood in 2016 after losing spouses to cancer.  They met and connected in a widow/widower support group and later married.  One of the principles they learned from their own experiences and those of other surviving spouses is that the more prepared a surviving spouse is on a financial, legal, emotional, and practical level, the better they will adjust to widowhood.  They will maintain their independence and control of their assets and be freer to properly grieve and move forward in life.  Conversely, those who are not prepared are more likely to have their lives flipped upside down.  They may need to move and uproot kids because they can't afford the mortgage, rely on family or other charities to financially support them, and/or change jobs to allow them to better serve as a single parent.  We hope to share what we've learned and help other families properly get their affairs in order and be prepared with confidence, peace of mind, and in control of their assets.