244 | The Business of Death: After Loss Consulting with Rachel Donnelly

Rachel Donnelly



There are few things in life that we will all inevitably experience, and losing a loved one is, unfortunately, one of them.


When that time comes, you should have just one thing to do: Grieve.


But if you’re an executor with an estate to settle, there’s a good chance you won’t have the chance to deal with your grief until you’ve crossed the t’s and dotted the i’s, which can turn into a year-long, part-time job. (That is very much unpaid.)


That’s why I brought Rachel Donnelly, founder of AfterLight Consulting onto the Love, your Money Podcast to talk about navigating the unavoidable logistics of what she calls “the business of death.”


Rachel was thrust into settling the estates of two family members while raising two young children and working full time, which helped her quickly identify both the toll it can take on individuals as well as the gaping hole in the market for services that help ease the burden on grieving loved ones.


Whether you’re the executor of a friend or family member’s will or planning your own estate, tune into today’s episode to learn what you need to consider so you can rest assured that your loved ones are taken care of.

Here’s what you’ll find out in this week’s episode of Love, your Money:

  • The personal stories that led Rachel to a career in after loss consulting
  • Rachel’s “MDA”, and the growth of the after loss consulting industry
  • What an after loss consultant does and doesn’t do  
  • The Wild West situation that is digital assets, and recommendations for what to do in the digital realm before and after death 
  • The one thing all after loss consultants will scream from the highest of mountains
  • The best time to initiate an engagement with an after loss consultant
  • Approximate duration and costs when hiring an after loss consultant
  • Where Rachel recommends starting in your own estate planning (today)
  • The top two things you should do right now if you’ve got an 18-year old leaving the nest 

Inspiring Quotes

“There are varying estimates that say it takes over 500 hours of effort for an executor to settle an estate.”

“That’s what I felt was a real missing part of my grief journey is I didn’t have time to grieve.”

“One thing that we scream from the highest mountain is communication. As you’re going through and getting your estate in order, naming your executor, your power of attorney, financial power of attorney, if there is any agent or delegate…whether that’s your Facebook legacy contact or your Apple legacy contact, just make sure that’s included somewhere. Maybe a letter of instructions, right?”

“That's why I counsel clients to do a very laborious inventory of all of your digital assets just to have the record of it so that they know, what do I systematically need to close down, transfer, archive?”

“You don’t ever want to be, like, ‘Surprise! You’re the executor. Nobody wants that.”

“People have this common misconception that estate planning is only for the wealthy. Your estate is what you owe and what you own. So, doing a simple inventory of what you owe and what you own will help your family members exponentially if something were to happen to you.”

“Friends don’t let friends name co-executors. Just don’t do it.”

Resources and Related to Love, your Money Content

  • Visit Rachel online at AfterLight Consulting
  • Connect with Rachel on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn
  • Email hello@myafterlight.com to receive a free Complete After Loss Guide or Legacy Planning at Any Age Guide
  • If you live in Georgia, reach out to Bequest Law to inquire about their College Care Package, which includes a Power of Attorney and Advance Directive for Health Care for college-age students

Enjoy the Show?​

Hilary Hendershott: Well, hey, money lover, I have something very special for you today. My guest is Rachel Donnelly. Drawing on her own personal experience of loss, which I hope she’ll talk a little bit more about today, including the passing of her parents, Rachel Donnelly founded AfterLight with a goal to assist clients in managing the unavoidable administrative tasks associated with after loss and legacy planning. She’s also the co-founder of Professionals of After Loss Services, acronym PALS, the first organization setting industry standards for after loss professionals. And if you’ve been through this process with someone that you loved, I know that you know what Rachel does is in high demand or should be, like you have wanted her to walk next to you. In her role with PALS, she plays a critical role in creating the PALS training program, which is an innovative online course shaping skilled professionals worldwide.




Hilary Hendershott: Rachel, welcome to Love, your Money.


Rachel Donnelly: Thanks so much, Hilary. I’m so excited to be here. Thank you for having me.


Hilary Hendershott: Well, you sure have a unique role in life. And your website says that you “help the living deal with dying.”


Rachel Donnelly: Yes.


Hilary Hendershott: This is a very unique place to put yourself. Can you say a little bit about what led you to this career and set of services?


Rachel Donnelly: Yeah, it’s interesting. Looking back at your life in retrospect, I feel like my whole life was sort of leading up to this, and it just one day hit me in the head that this is what I was meant to do. My dad was a small-town doctor. I grew up in a small town on the south side of Atlanta, and he was the only doctor in town. So, I accompanied him on house calls, going to the hospital with him. And so, it was very normal to be in that sort of world.


Unfortunately, he got sick when I was 13 and passed away when I was 16. And I saw my mom, who was a very young widow, I was introduced to sort of these logistics of after loss and of death of her having to sell his medical practice, of us having to file for his veterans benefits for Social Security. So, I was introduced to it at a very young age.


Then fast forward, when I was in my early 30s and had two young kids, my mom got sick and passed away within a couple of weeks of her diagnosis. And I had just started a brand-new job where I had no time off in the first 90 days. And I was expected to have her funeral, open her estate and start settling her estate, as well as taking on the care of her brother, my uncle, who she was the caregiver for, who was in latter stages of Parkinson’s disease. So, I was now thrust into this world of settling my parents’ estate, taking care of an aging loved one, while also trying to navigate a pretty new job, take care of two small kids, do the laundry, and all of the things that we as women have to do.


Hilary Hendershott: With no time off, like on the evening and weekends.


Rachel Donnelly: I mean, you know, you work in the financial industry, you can’t call organizations and banks and financial custodians on the weekend. And so, I thought, why is there not someone to help me navigate this, navigate this unavoidable logistics of what I call the business of death? And yes, I had the attorney, I had the financial advisor, I had the accountant. What people, I’m sure many of your listeners know and they’re shaking their head to is there’s so much work that’s thrust upon those who are left behind to settle the estate, of all of that work and those other duties that’s assigned, those crumbs that fall between the cracks that we’re supposed to pick up and deal with when somebody passes away. There are varying estimates that say it takes over 500 hours of effort for an executor to settle an estate.


Hilary Hendershott: I usually say it’s a full year part-time job.


Rachel Donnelly: Yes, and an unpaid part-time job. So, I thought there was a real gap in the market in terms of logistical, practical support for those navigating this journey. And then my uncle passed away, I was settling two estates in tandem, still my mom’s and my uncle’s. And I thought, “Oh, my goodness, I’ve got it. I’m going to start a company that helps executors manage these logistics and serve as sort of a quarterback for overwhelmed executors.” And AfterLife was born.


Hilary Hendershott: Well, a shepherd through, really like, I mean what you do, I can’t even imagine and I sometimes think about hospice workers.


Rachel Donnelly: Yes.


Hilary Hendershott: Right? What angels, but I don’t think I could do it. I don’t think I could do it.


Rachel Donnelly: Same here. I don’t think I could either. That’s a totally different part– unfortunately, this is a milestone in life we are all going to have to experience. Not all of us are going to get married, not all of us are going to have children; buy a home. We are all most likely, at some point, going to experience the loss of a loved one, and to have someone to shepherd you through that process as sort of a project manager, as I said, I felt that was missing in the marketplace, right? So, this is something we’re all going to have to face at some point in our life.


Hilary Hendershott: Yeah. And so, how many years has that been approximately?


Rachel Donnelly: So, I’m in my fifth year of business. I started in January 2020. It was a side hustle, yeah and great timing. I was a side hustle as I was still working full time and eventually, I left my full-time job and said, I am going in whole hog, as we say in the south on this business, and haven’t looked back.


Hilary Hendershott: Those southern metaphors. And talk a little bit about your professional credentials and how you use those in what you do.


Rachel Donnelly: I like to say I have an MDA, a master’s in death administration, where I went to the school of hard knocks, right? So, when I first started my company after, like, I didn’t know what to call myself, how to refer to myself. Was I a death concierge? Was I an estate project manager? Was I a skilled professional assistant for executors? And I found other women who had very similar businesses to mine. We started networking and just one of our first orders of business is let’s come up with a unified name for our role, what we’re doing to help clients so that we can really set the stage for this and build an industry. And that’s where After Loss Professional was born and we created– people started hearing about us. They said, “Oh, my goodness,” and it was so funny. It was women who had gone through this experience before, had experienced what I call the dumpster fire of death, of losing a loved one. And they said, “Could you teach me how to do what you’re doing?” I’d like to reinvent myself in the workforce. I would love to do this professionally. I’d love to take the experience that I gleaned from and start a business or add these services.


So, PALS, Professionals of After Loss Services, was born, with the goal of creating the industry, the training organization, the membership organization for those wishing to join us on this journey. So, now, we’ve trained people from all over the world how to do what we do and are growing this industry around the best practices of code of ethics, things like that, so that we can really have bumpers around, sort of a sandbox of how we help clients.


Hilary Hendershott: And just out of curiosity, do you have training in anything that would look like counseling or therapy? Because I imagine a lot of what you do feels like that.


Rachel Donnelly: It’s funny, we do a lot of training around how to be grief-centric, or grief literate. We do training around how to provide these services with compassion, but we very much stay in our lane of a project management role, right?


Hilary Hendershott: Oh, so you might introduce to a grief counselor.


Rachel Donnelly: Absolutely, 100%. One of our first questions when we work with a client is, are you getting the grief support you need? And we want to make sure that we facilitate that in whatever way makes sense. We have resources on hand to help shepherd that. We do feel also that providing these services is a form of grief support. We’re giving people the time back to focus on the things that matter. They’re not getting bogged down into closing the Xfinity account, calling the bank, yelling representative 300 times to the same person. So, that’s what I felt was a real missing part of my grief journey is I didn’t have time to grieve.


Hilary Hendershott: Now, wait, when you say they’re not getting bogged down in closing the account, are you literally doing that for people?


Rachel Donnelly: Yes, absolutely.


Hilary Hendershott: So, are you acting as power of attorney?


Rachel Donnelly: We’re not acting as power of attorney. We are acting as an authorized agent for the executor. They sign sort of a third-party communication form. Whoever has the legal authority or the ability, who’s settling the estate, they sign just a quick, like I said, a third-party authorization form that we then use to pass on to the custodian, the company, whatever, and saying the executor has asked us to reach out, find what paperwork they need to fill out, what’s the process, the protocol, the sequence. So, we can serve as a coach role, as a proxy role, or an organizer role.


Hilary Hendershott: Well, that is fascinating. And so, can you give me a sense of the things, because that’s miraculous to not have to say my husband or wife passed away 10,000 times, to somebody on the phone you’ve never met who probably isn’t in the same country, right? So, what’s on the list of things you can do? Or, conversely, what’s on the list of things you can’t do for them?


Rachel Donnelly: We’re very clear, we’re not fiduciaries. We do not serve in that fiduciary role for an executor. Like I said, we serve in that sort of project management role for an executor. We do not provide any legal advice/guidance because we are not attorneys. We are not CPAs. So, we’re very clear about where we are. What we do help them with is getting organized, prioritizing, triaging, streamlining tasks. My number one referral sources are financial advisors and trust and estate attorneys.  And I love having those professionals as the referrals.


Then I’ve got sort of the laundry list that has been assigned to them. Say, I need you to call Vanguard. I need you to call E*TRADE. I need you to reach out to this account. So, we are helping them with sort of the execution, organization, and triaging of that sort of laundry list. Also, we’re helping them with things that they may not think of. Oh, let’s help you shut down the LinkedIn account. Or was there money left over in the PayPal account or the Zelle, right? We’re trying to be very comprehensive and holistic and let’s zoom out, look at your loved one’s life and then zoom back in and help close, transfer, archive based on the guidance of the other professionals.


Hilary Hendershott: And that’s a topic that’s– I mean, we could do a whole podcast episode on just the digital estate, and I want to come back to that. But at any point would you sort of bow out? I’m thinking of a few people I have known recently who, unfortunately, let’s say the interpretation of the estate plan is unclear, right? The revocable living trust was written, but it’s confusing. It doesn’t seem like the deceased would actually want to have happen what it seems like is happening and it doesn’t make sense for the trustee or the executor. Tell me, how far would you go if you were having to go back and forth with the estate department at Wells Fargo Bank, etc., etc. Tell me how that goes.


Rachel Donnelly: Yeah. So, I’ll give you one example in particular. I have a client who, she’s the trustee of her uncle’s revocable living trust. And so, I was helping her under the guidance of her attorney. You need to call; you need to get the EIN for the trust. You need to call and have this account opened. You need to have the assets moved into this trust account, so funding the trust. Then, oh, we found out there were several accounts that hadn’t been properly titled, right? So, now, reporting back to, of course, my client and then the attorney. Oh, now, we’ve got to open up the estate, get the letters testamentary, then follow through that protocol so we can do the flow through, back to the trust.


So, it does require, if you’re getting into that very detailed proxy role, of course, understanding of the basic mechanics of estate planning, but we are never providing any clarification, any guidance based on that. We are always looking to the attorney, to the CPA, to the financial advisor for the marching orders. Absolutely, 100%. We’re in for the execution. Is that helpful?


Hilary Hendershott: Yeah, I do find that. And we touched on this tangentially before I hit record. But I do find that sometimes, you’re looking for– even the folks in the trust and estates department at the national banks often, in my experience. And you said, potentially yours are not necessarily and certainly not uniformly educated on how estate planning should go. And so, you’re getting different interpretations from different people. And I just wonder, if you’re calling the retail bank and they’re pushing back on you, are you then going back to your client and/or the attorney or are you kind of poking around, trying to get the result we want?


Rachel Donnelly: It’s both. I will push them and say, okay– what I always try to do is ask as many questions as I can. So, what you’re telling me is X, Y, and Z, I want to make sure I’m understanding you correctly because that’s not the sort of marching orders that the attorney gave me, what have you, right? Sometimes, you’ll call a custodian and they’ll say, “Well, it’s a direct beneficiary account.” They’ll say, “Well, we need the will.” Why do you need the will? This is the direct beneficiary account. So, please, can you clarify why you need that?


So, I’m always trying to ask as many clarifying questions as I can, so I can go back to my client and then to the attorney to say here’s what they’ve said. Can you tell me how I need to proceed? Or with a trust account, they’re saying, “Oh, well, this was a revocable living trust. Doesn’t that end at death? Don’t you need to rename it?” And then, no, that’s not correct, but yes, okay…


Hilary Hendershott: Yes, yes. Okay, good. I’m trying to describe a person who would be well-established with social media. So, this person has a LinkedIn, a Facebook, potentially a lightly-used Instagram, maybe a TikTok because TikTok automatically assigned me an account because I have an Instagram. How does someone who doesn’t have the passwords begin to think about how to handle those things? What is the end game for the digital estate and how do we get there?


Rachel Donnelly: Right. So, it’s such a wild, wild west situation. There is no one-size-fits-all protocol and it’s very confusing to the end user and to the run-of-the-mill user or the family member who’s left behind. So, one part of helping clients is helping them to get their digital assets organized. That’s one way that we help clients because we’ve seen this as a real blind spot. A common practice is for family members to share passwords with a loved one and say, “Let me shut this down. I want this to happen.” While that may seem harmless, and it is very common, it may violate the terms of service of that custodian, right? Correct. So, while technically yes, that may be the fastest line to victory, that’s not necessarily best practices in terms of what you should do. It actually may violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.


Hilary Hendershott: So, if I go in and shut down someone’s Facebook who’s died, I might be in violation of their terms of service.


Rachel Donnelly: Correct.


Hilary Hendershott: Wow.


Rachel Donnelly: That’s correct, yeah. So, what I tell clients to do and what I caution people is, well, first and foremost, I don’t know that there’ll be some password police that are going to be screaming around the corner to come get you. But you may inadvertently end up locking yourself out of an account. Let me give you a quick example. I had a client who, his adult son passed away very tragically. They wanted to do some digital asset discovery to maybe find out a couple of things that have happened leading up to his passing. And they did not know the unlock code to his phone, his computer, the email addresses he used to log into different accounts.


Following the death, his brothers tried to guess one of his passwords. And they inadvertently locked themselves out, of course. When we went back to Google and said, “Hey, we’d like to request a transcript; a catalog of digital assets.” They said, “Well, we can see you tried to access after the date of death, which you reported. You’ve now circumvented our protocol. You’re permanently locked out.” That is a very severe case. Mind that. Let’s just preface that. However, based on that experience that I’ve now had with clients, I want to make sure we color in the lines and follow the protocol.


So, doing that, one of the things that I do is, let’s do an inventory of all of their digital assets. Did they name any beneficiaries or contacts, delegates as part of their online accounts, which you can do with Facebook, Google, and Apple. Was any of that done? And if so, let’s follow that process or whoever was named the contact. And then based on what you think they would have wanted, let’s follow the proper procedures to close down the Facebook account, which there is a whole process of doing that. You send in the death certificate, the obituary, what have you, so following that process, same thing with LinkedIn or Instagram, what have you. So, we’re doing that under the terms of service that we’re following and following that proper procedure.


Hilary Hendershott: Following the process that they’ve set out. And so, this may be too in the weeds, but for example…


Rachel Donnelly: I love in the weeds.


Hilary Hendershott: Okay. Well, now, I’m curious because I do think I have a beneficiary or next of kin on all three of the accounts that you mention. In other words, every time I’m prompted for that kind of thing, I elect someone just because of my professional experience. But let’s say my executor is not that person, how does that person find out who is?


Rachel Donnelly: Yeah. So, that’s a great question. And it’s one thing that we scream from the highest mountain is communication. As you’re going through and getting your estate in order, naming your executor, your power of attorney, financial power of attorney, if there is any agent or delegate that’s in conflict of that, whether that’s your Facebook legacy contact or your Apple legacy contact, just make sure that’s included somewhere. Maybe a letter of instructions, right? That may not be legally binding, but it’s just a hey, a letter of, my executor is my husband, my son, my 20-year-old son is my legacy contact on my Apple book as he’s very savvy, but just making sure you’re communicating that, talking to your attorney in your state, in your region of let’s see how can I include that, right? We want to make sure it’s done under your state laws.


Hilary Hendershott: I see. So, you would have to communicate that out.


Rachel Donnelly: Yeah, just communicate that. Right. Very simple. My husband would be my executor, my trustee. My sister is my Facebook legacy contact, right? So, I’ve just included that in my letter of instruction saying my sister– this differs from my other wishes and election of who will take over.


Hilary Hendershott: Okay. All right. So, thank you for that. That was very interesting. And it also sounds to me like there can’t right now be a current handbook for managing the digital estate because the terms of service might change.


Rachel Donnelly: Yeah. Well, so each state, almost all 50 states have some sort of digital asset legislation that gives executors a pathway. It’s called RUFADAA, the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, which gives executors sort of a pathway. However, you still do need to check with the terms of service of each individual account, right? But all this to say, everybody hates passwords. And many of the big tech companies are making it a priority over the next couple of years to go passwordless. Microsoft, Google, Apple, they’re moving over to what’s called passkeys.


So, all that to say, you may think, oh, just handing over my passwords is the answer. Since many companies are moving over to this passwordless passkey format, it may be null and void anyway, right? So, that’s why I counsel clients to do a very laborious inventory of all of your digital assets just to have the record of it so that they know, what do I systematically need to close down, transfer, archive? I’ve gotten into the weeds a lot, but as you can see, it’s fascinating to me. But your original question, no, there’s no uniform step 1, step 2, step 3 of how to handle one’s digital assets after you die.


Hilary Hendershott: Now, primarily, when you meet clients, are you meeting them just before the death or after?


Rachel Donnelly: About 60% of my clients are in what we call the after-loss consulting. So, they are the named or about to be the named executor/administrator of an estate and we’re helping walk them through all of those administrative tasks. But about 40% in what I call legacy planning and organization, they’ve maybe done all of their estate planning a couple of years ago. They may not understand or know where everything is. We’re helping to pull everything together. We’re helping them think through questions that they may not have considered, such as, do they want to be buried or cremated? Or their digital assets being a big component of that. So, most of my clients were, like I said, are in that after-loss consulting space, but about 40% are in what we call pre-planning.


Hilary Hendershott: And I imagine in pre-planning, you’re probably working with the person who’s going to die and the person who will be his or her executor.


Rachel Donnelly: Right, yes. Let’s help you get everything organized. Find a central repository for you to share with your executor. Happy to sit down and have sort of a family meeting so we can share some of this information and give them the breadcrumbs of how they’ll access this. Who are the important people involved? Who’s the attorney? Who’s the financial advisor? Making sure that they have the tools in their toolbox.


Hilary Hendershott: Communication.


Rachel Donnelly: Right, yeah. You don’t ever want to be, like, “Surprise! You’re the executor. Nobody wants that.”


Hilary Hendershott: Surprise! Here’s a job for a year, which you won’t get paid for. Okay, so you have two primary services, I think. That’s what I saw on your website.


Rachel Donnelly: That’s correct, yes.


Hilary Hendershott: So, you have after loss consulting. So, I think we’ve been talking about after loss consulting. What, in your experience, is the approximate duration of that engagement? And what might be the approximate range of costs?


Rachel Donnelly: Right. So, my typical engagement with a client is about a six-month engagement. I sell bundled hours. As we know, probate and the time to complete probate is very squishy. And sometimes, you don’t know the layers of the onion till you start pulling them back. However, I want to give my client sort of a timeline of how long they’ll be working with me, and also, the costs, right? So, I have a bundled package of hours in 10, 20, and 30-hour packages right now. They can always buy more. And my hourly rate goes down based on the number of hours that you purchase. So, my hourly rate is between $175 and $195 an hour based on the number of hours that you purchase.


Hilary Hendershott: Got it. Okay, so straight hourly.


Rachel Donnelly: Yes.


Hilary Hendershott: Very good. Okay, I got it. And then you also have the legacy planning services which you mentioned. So, that is for folks who know that death is nigh.


Rachel Donnelly: Yes and no. I’ve had clients who were 44. I’ve had clients who were 84. One, I had my 44-year-old. She was about to go under a major surgical procedure. She said, “I just want to get everything organized, make sure I can pass things along, have things buttoned up.” She’s like, I want…


Hilary Hendershott: I’ve had people tell me they needed to get their estate plan because they were both going to Jamaica.


Rachel Donnelly: Or the African safari, that’s always a big one.


Hilary Hendershott: All of a sudden, it’s urgent.


Rachel Donnelly: All of a sudden, it’s urgent, yes. But she felt really disorganized. And she said, “I just want to go through this process and really get pen to paper and get organized.” So, it depends. It’s not all the time someone who is facing a terminal illness, although that is common, or they’re in the third or fourth quarter of life, as I like to say.


Hilary Hendershott: Understood. Okay. So, you may not, in your professional role, have much occasion to share with people best practices or mistakes to avoid because it seems like when you meet them, sometimes those mistakes have already been made. But if you could, because those people are listening to this conversation, what would you want people to know to get done?


Rachel Donnelly: Oh, gosh. I mean, just even if you do a couple of things to organize your affairs. People have this common misconception that estate planning is only for the wealthy. Your estate is what you owe and what you own. So, doing a simple inventory of what you owe and what you own will help your family members exponentially if something were to happen to you because so many things are behind an online portal that you’re logging into or electronic mailing, right? We’re not getting statements. So, just having that, sharing what your preferences around, what you want to have happen to your body, I know that is so morbid, but it can cause so many issues.


And death is very expensive. The average cost of a burial in the US is $8,300. Does someone have immediate access to funds if you were to pass away tomorrow to be able to pay immediate expenses, your mortgage, your car payment, what have you, right? Or would they have to shoulder that burden themselves?


Hilary Hendershott: Oh, I’ve seen that happen.


Rachel Donnelly: Oh it happens so often, and just, I have so many unpopular opinions about estate planning. Friends don’t let friends name co-executors. Just don’t do it.


Hilary Hendershott: Thank you. I totally agree.


Rachel Donnelly: Just don’t do it. I know you’re trying to make Susie and John feel like they’re both equally loved, but it is just logistically a nightmare, right? Just do not do it. Put your pride aside. This is your mess. This is your life. This is your legacy. Why would you want it to just go away in the blink of an eye if something were to happen to you? So, just a little bit of forethought and intentionality can go such a long way.


Hilary Hendershott: I’ve said this on a show many times before, but so many times, I ask, I invite new clients to upload a digital copy of their signed and executed estate plan, so the will, the trust document, the power of attorney, and the health directive. And they say to me, “Oh, my attorney has that.” And I said, “Okay, first of all, your attorney is a human being just like you, who will either die or go out of business relatively soon.” Not only that, your attorney never told you that he or she would keep that for you on file.


Rachel Donnelly: 100%. It’s your document. Why are you leaving it up to somebody else to safeguard?


Hilary Hendershott: Your attorney is not Box.com.


Rachel Donnelly: No. And for the love of God, do not put it in a safe deposit box. Please do not put it in a safe deposit box.


Hilary Hendershott: I know, I know.


Rachel Donnelly: I hope that’s a thing of the past. And I’m sorry, any banking professionals who hear me, but I really hope that’s going away.


Hilary Hendershott: I wholeheartedly agree. I don’t even think there are Social Security numbers on most trust documents, so there’s nothing really technically private. I mean, it’s maybe private if your family members are going to fight over your money, but nobody could steal your identity with it.


Rachel Donnelly: Yeah, yeah. And make sure somebody has the unlock code to your phone and the password to your computer. You are guaranteed that as part of RUFADAA is access to a loved one’s device. So, you’re not going to break any rules or any terms of service. So, having that unlock code, but if anybody who has a kid or a grandkid aged three or older, somebody has the unlock code to your phone, I can promise you.


Hilary Hendershott: Very good point. You know what I did? We have all of our passwords in LastPass, the password vault. And my brother-in-law, for various reasons, it couldn’t be my sister, but my brother-in-law has this code he can use any time if I go missing or if I die, and they can get in there. And that way, they can see if someone’s using my ATM card or my credit card, right?


Rachel Donnelly: So smart.


Hilary Hendershott: My phone unlock code is in there. And of course, if I were not missing or alive, I would get plenty of notifications that someone was getting into my vault and could be able to stop it. But of course, I trust him not to use it unless something’s wrong. But I feel like in that way, there’s a ton of information in there, right?


Rachel Donnelly: Yeah, absolutely.


Hilary Hendershott: And LastPass has its downsides. It’s not perfect.


Rachel Donnelly: It’s not perfect, but it’s something. It’s exponentially better. I love my password manager. I use Dashlane, and it has changed my life.


Hilary Hendershott: Do you love it?


Rachel Donnelly: I love it, yeah. It’s changed my life. And last, I mean, I could go on and on about me being on my soapbox and everything I want to say to everybody. But based on the demographic of your audience, if you have a college age child going off to school this summer, make sure they have a financial power of attorney and that they have a healthcare power of attorney as well because once they turn 18, you cannot make decisions on their behalf medically or speak to their physicians.


Hilary Hendershott: Or go into their bank.


Rachel Donnelly: Correct, yes.


Hilary Hendershott: Got it. Is there a cheap way to do that for families who don’t want to pay six grand for an estate plan?


Rachel Donnelly: A lot of attorneys I know, they have specials, going to college special, and for a couple of hundred dollars, they will do a financial power attorney and advanced health care directives. So many attorneys I know do these specials over the summer for kids who are headed off to college.


Hilary Hendershott: Oh, great. So, we will link to our resource in the show notes for this conversation. I have someone in mind. Maybe after we hang up, if you have someone you want to refer, we’ll put them in the show notes. But that’s important. That’s a big deal.


Rachel Donnelly: Absolutely. I’ve got one of the attorneys I work with in Atlanta. I know she does that. She offers this special every year.


Hilary Hendershott: Okay. So, find an attorney in your state and get a health care directive and power of attorney for your soon to be 18-year-old.


Rachel Donnelly: Yes, 100%. And for yourself. Everybody, go do it together. It’s a family affair. It’ll be so much fun.


Hilary Hendershott: If you’re a parent and don’t have a power of attorney or health care directive, please, please, please, go get one.


Rachel Donnelly: We beg of you.


Hilary Hendershott: We beg of you. Rachel, thank you so much. It’s been really great to get your insight into this very unique corner of the world you live in, in your professional days and hours. And where can people find out all the things about you?


Rachel Donnelly: All the things, you can follow me day to day on LinkedIn, Rachel Donnelly, @myafterlight on Instagram and Facebook, or just go to MyAfterLight.com. And we provide free complimentary discovery calls for any executor. We have clients all over the US so we can help you from wherever you are to help you navigate the unavoidable logistics of legacy planning or after loss.


Hilary Hendershott: Amazing. Thanks for being on Love, your Money.


Rachel Donnelly: Thanks so much for having me.




Hilary Hendershott: Hilary here. As you know, I make it a habit to ask my guests one signature question and that is, “If your money were writing you a love note, what would it be complimenting you or thanking you for?” And here’s Rachel’s response to that question, “Hilary, if my money were to write me a love note, it would be thanking me for incorporating estate planning into my financial strategy. It’s something that often gets overlooked, but it’s essential. Dying can be unexpectedly expensive, and without a plan, those costs can become a heavy burden for your loved ones who are left to manage the affairs.” Thank you, Rachel.


Hendershott Wealth Management, LLC and Love, your Money do not make specific investment recommendations on Love, your Money or in any public media. Any specific mentions of funds or investments are strictly for illustrative purposes only and should not be taken as investment advice or acted upon by individual investors. The opinions expressed in this episode are those of Hilary Hendershott, CFP®, MBA.


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