Exit Stage Right - Get Your Affairs in Order
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Estate Organization

Getting your affairs in order

What is Estate Organization and how does it differ from the hands-on services after a loss?

Estate Organization, as originally defined, consists of the organization and documentation of all the information relating to your estate. This is the who, what, where, when and how of your personal estate, the information your family needs at a time of crisis.


This field was pioneered and established when Jeanne started her business, Exit Stage Right® in 1992, and created her first workbook for this purpose. She has updated these materials and made them available in a workbook format and a CD-ROM computer software program!


QuoteJeanne also pioneered the field of Assisting Estate Administrators, offering hands-on services to conservators, successor trustees, or executors with the paperwork and the physical estate management after a loss.


Note: Some providers have begun using the term “Estate Organization” to describe their hands-on services, as they do not provide the pre-planning documentation services. This can be somewhat confusing to the consumer.


So why would I want to spend the time to do the Estate Organization work?

  • Would your family know what to do in times of crises?
  • Do they have any idea where you keep your important papers or your choices for burial or cremation?
  • Do they know who your advisors are and what provisions you have made for them?


The most difficult decisions must be made within hours after a death occurs — a time when the family is immobilized by shock and grief. The stress of this crisis period can be greatly reduced if a strategic game plan has been created prior to the loss, and all the players know where the “play book” is located. They don’t need to have the plays memorized, they will just need the guidebook to follow! This program, when completed, will include all the information your family will need to handle the practical and administrative issues surrounding loss — be it from disaster, incapacity or death.


There is a direct correlation between how we face death and prepare our families, and their ability to survive, adjust and begin the recovery from grief! Organizing your estate is a "gift of love" that extends far beyond the time you can be there to care for your family.


Although the legal and financial plans are essential tools in estate planning, they represent the tip of the iceberg of the planning needed for your family. The practical and administrative issues involved can be so overwhelming that they can sink the family ship.


To capture this information, Jeanne has created “Exit Strategies: A Plan and A Place For Your Estate Information”™ In addition to the pages to record your personal information, Jeanne has written a Family Resource Guide. This is basically a primer in life management to equip you to assist multiple generations with their estate organization issues.


The Family Resource Guide addresses topics such as:

  • Our denial, fears and reasons we procrastinate
  • Generic information on wills, trusts, advanced health care directives, etc.
  • Medicare and other health insurance issues
  • Adult living facility options
  • Retirement plans and IRAs
  • Making final arrangements
  • Spiritual issues involved with loss


The data pages are available to record all your personal information and choices as well as your legal and financial data. Some of the categories include:

  • Whom to call at time of crisis
  • Emergency child-care arrangements
  • Location of bank accounts, safe deposit box and investments
  • Automatic deposits and withdrawals from your bank accounts
  • Location of your legal documents
  • List of advisors
  • Insurance issues
  • Planning your final arrangements
  • Veterinarian and choices regarding your pets
  • Household information and when the garbage goes out
  • Inheritable frequent flier files and time-shares


Some people prefer to fill out forms with a pencil, while others prefer to use their computer for this purpose. Thus this tool is available in both a paper format and as a computer software program on a CD-ROM.


The 100+ page, estate-organization workbook is spiral bound and opens flat for easy use. The binding can be removed and the pages 3 hole punched for use in a binder. The material is divided into categories to facilitate this process.


The same holds true for the CD-ROM format. Each major category has a page break at the end so that the pages can be printed and put into a binder. The margins have been set to allow for this process.


To order this workbook, or brand new CD program, click here for the mail-in order form. To purchase the workbook or CD program online, click here.



When she was 86, my mother and I spent a delightful day working together to complete "Exit Strategies: A Plan and A Place For Your Estate Information." She visibly relaxed as she put all her wishes and information in one place where my brother and I could access it easily when needed. She even planned, with love and enthusiasm, her own memorial service down to favorite prayers and music, calling it her "last party." We are so grateful to Jeanne Smith and Exit Stage Right for creating and publishing this wonderful resource!

Judy Johnson, San Carlos CA


When I saw Jeanne at a professional luncheon in 1995, I intuitively knew that I had to contact her. Thinking that I'd get a workbook for my mother (then 81), I then decided also to buy for myself. We both completed the workbooks. A year later, I had a serious surgery and consequent stroke, and nine months after that, my mother died on the East Coast. Jeanne's calm support, necessary contacts and saintly patience during this difficult time — not to mention the incredible help of her workbooks — consoled and organized my scattered and grief-stricken state of being. God bless Jeanne!

Laura B. Michaels, Menlo Park, CApuzzle piece

Exit Stage Right celebrates 15 year anniversary!
CD or Workbook Available -- Buy Now!Exit Strategies: A Plan and A Place For Your Estate Information is a software program and workbook that provides you with a place to record your vital personal information and wishes. Purchase your CD or workbook today!