DAYTON, OH – Most people give little thought to how their affairs would be handled if they were suddenly incapacitated or died. Kathy Druffner thinks about these issues all the time.
Druffner is a professional personal affairs organizer. She opened Druffner & Associates, LLC, in August of 2009 and helps her clients to sort out personal, legal and financial information so they can better prepare for those inevitable life changes before they happen.
Originally from Avoca, Pennsylvania, Druffner is a 1989 graduate of the University of Dayton where she earned a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice. Later she completed the paralegal program at the American Institute of Paralegal Studies at Miami Jacobs College in Dayton and the diverse career that followed provided the skill to create order from chaos.
Her unique background includes work in private investigations, collections services and investment brokerages. Throughout her career she helped families cope with the disorder left behind by deceased or incapacitated friends and relatives.
“Family members of loved ones who had become ill or died would come in with important papers stuffed in a shopping bag,” she recalled. “They had no idea where to find insurance policies, where to pay bills or even how to contact creditors to settle outstanding debt.”
Today, Druffner & Associates can help evaluate and prioritize important personal papers beginning with a comprehensive assessment. “We work on an hourly basis, sorting through the paperwork for the client and looking for patterns like unanswered collections letters or utility cutoff notices,” Druffner said. “Once everything is sorted out, we formulate a plan based on the results of the assessment.”
The concept is to get critical information such as insurance policies and property deeds contained in one area. When everything is sorted and organized safe but accessible storage location is chosen, and that information is provided to family members or a designated power of attorney.
Sometimes the assistance of an attorney or other professional service is required to complete the process and Druffner has a wide network of trusted contacts at her disposal. “We can provide uncompensated referrals to all types of professional resources including lawyers, financial planners and remodeling contractors.”
Druffner strongly emphasized that the best time to prepare for life changes is before they occur, and it will likely not happen quickly. “This is a slow process,” she said. “Since you didn’t get into this situation overnight, it will take time to resolve properly. Every step you take is a step towards order.”
Just getting started, however, can be the most difficult decision for some, especially those senior citizens for whom the amassing of clutter may be an attempt to hold onto the past. Many seniors in this situation face looming legal deadlines, unpaid and forgotten bills, or have valuable and needed insurance policies that have been expired in a mountain of papers.
But the elderly are not the only ones who should get their affairs in order. People in all stages of life can benefit from the services of a professional personal organizer.
Younger people are in the second most critical area of need for these kinds of services. People today are more mobile and fewer families are living close together. With no family living nearby, Druffner asked, “Whom would someone call if you were incapacitated? Where is the emergency contact information kept? Who has access to it?”
As unpleasant as it might be to think about, everyone should consider what would happen if they were suddenly incapacitated or died. Druffner & Associates can help to develop a plan of action, create a customized paper management system and provide a Personal Affairs Overview document for loved ones. “Getting things organized now, will avoid unnecessary stress on loved ones later.”
To learn more about services provided by a personal affairs organizer, contact Druffner & Associates, LLC, by calling (937) 271-4154 or go online to www.druffnerassociates.com.