It is never the right moment to step out of life. It is never the right moment to deal with what's left behind. But maybe this is the right moment to ask for your help.
Stephan left a lot of good memories, but unfortunately, his recent official emigration to Austria also left a lot of unfinished paperwork. Due to that, there is insufficient insurance to cover the cost of organizing his goodbye and settling his estate.
It is hard to ask for help, but it is even harder not to. So here we are. We would like to invite you all to donate a modest amount so that his closest relatives can say goodbye in peace without getting into financial problems.
When all costs are covered, what remains of the donations will be sent to a center for avalanche research and/or avalanche awareness.
All the close relatives will be indescribable grateful. Thank you from the bottom of their hearts.
The long story….
Who am I? Where am I from? What's my relationship to the fundraising parties?
My name is Adrianus Oskam, people call me Jos. I am married to Helga Stoelhorst. Helga has 2 children from her first marriage. We are all Dutch nationals. Helga and I are living in France and her former husband Frank currently resides in the Netherlands. Helga's son, Stephan Verheij, was living in Austria. On the 9th of november he lost his life in an avalanche in the Austrian mountains at the age of 39. Stephan was a very experienced and highly qualified snowboard/mountain guide, a kind of modern-day adventurer, who touched the lives of numerous persons in a positive way. He really was a unique, friendly, supportive and sympathetic person and everybody who ever met him will sorely miss him. We are all still reeling from the shock of his passing. The family has authorized me to coordinate the arrangements for his funeral and the settling of his estate. It is in this role that I am reaching out to you now. The shock of Stephan's death was amplified when we were confronted with some very unwelcome complications brought about by his passing. Snowboard guides like Stephan earn their income over the winter, hopefully enough to tide them over the off-season. When he died, he had already spent serious money on preparations for the coming winter season. Even worse, he had officially moved from the Netherlands to Austria this year, but his principal insurance policies had not yet been properly rearranged. Last but not least, there was no official paperwork establishing the relationship between Stephan and his girlfriend, so for the law his parents are his heirs and therefore responsible for his funeral and the subsequent settling of his estate. An estate in which there seem to be more liabilities than there are assets. To cut a long story short, Stephan's death did not only leave a gaping emotional hole, but also a serious financial one. For these reasons, among Stephan’s closest friends, it was decided to set up a crowdfunding campaign. Since Stephan had so many friends all over the world, a relatively modest contribution from each of them would already be a big help in covering the unexpected costs of his passing and the financial difficulties brought upon his heirs. The name on the campaign is "the riders community", which refers to the snowboarding community Stephan was such a well-known member of. This seemed more fitting for the campaign than putting my name there.
How will the funds be used? How do I intend to withdraw the money?
The first tranche of the funds will be used to cover the bill of the funeral house. That is the easy part. After that, it is our intention to withdraw the rest of the funds and park them safely in a bank account. Since the legal and financial situation around Stephan's passing is so opaque, involving family as involuntary heirs and girlfriend in unclear legal position, we foresee a complicated and possibly long procedure settling the estate. There will most likely be various notary/legal fees and other costs difficult to estimate at this point. The parked funds will be used to cover these. When this whole process has ended, which might take quite some time, we will see what is left of the parked funds. If any funds remain, these will be donated to some organisation involved in avalanche research and/or avalanche awareness.