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Bill '01 & Lisa '03 Jeffers

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Creating Peace of Mind
October 2011

Within minutes of pulling onto campus, Bill ’01, Lisa ’03 and Evelyn Jeffers head straight for the cafeteria in the new Student Center.  It has been a long drive and two year old Evelyn is hungry.  In order to avoid a potential meltdown, Bill and Lisa know they need to get food and they need to get it fast.  After retrieving a plate full of spaghetti and a slice of Italian bread for Evelyn, the Jeffers family breathes a sigh of relief.  Throughout the past two years, Bill and Lisa have learned about all the joys and challenges that come along with expanding their family.  They now fully understand what it takes to provide for dependents. 

Like many young adults, the Jeffers decided that part of parenting meant making sure Evelyn was cared for even if they were not around.  Talking about death is uncomfortable.  However, thinking about the possibility of leaving one’s family with insufficient resources to care for themselves is more unnerving.  It was due to this realization that Bill ’01 and Lisa ’03 Jeffers decided it was time to do some planning. 

Prior to Evelyn’s birth, Lisa and Bill started engaging in uncomfortable conversations.  “I figured the earlier we started talking about it, the earlier it would happen”, Bill explains. “We knew we needed a simple will to appoint the caretakers for Evelyn in the event that something happened to Lisa and me. However, the initial contacts we made were a bit intimidating and the quotes we received were more expensive than we expected.  Though we knew better, we decided to hold off pursuing a will until after Evelyn was born.” 

It wasn’t until an e-newsletter from the Annie Clarkson Society hit their email inboxes that the Bill and Lisa decided to reach out to Clarkson.  Bill contacted the Annie Clarkson Society for some advice which eventually led the Jeffers to Mark Baehre ’83. Mark is an attorney who specializes in estate planning at his practice in the Buffalo area.  “Already having Clarkson as a commonality provided an element of trust that we had not yet experienced in this process”, Bill explains, “We truly view Clarkson as part of our family, as about 75 percent of our close friends are alumni.”  Lisa adds, “We were comfortable approaching Mark.  Initially, we were just looking for information, but we were so happy with his service that we ended up finalizing our will with Mark’s practice.”

Now that Bill and Lisa have peace of mind knowing their estate plans are complete, they would like to encourage others to do the same.  “We know it can be difficult to identify knowledgeable professionals with expertise in areas that we might not fully understand, but use the resources available to you.  Clarkson was a great place to start the process and in the end it was a Clarkson graduate who finished it for us.”