Author Topic: Have you taken care of "things"?  (Read 834 times)

Missing AC

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Have you taken care of "things"?
« on: April 09, 2017, 08:20:08 PM »
So I am talking with my mom today and she asks if I have taken care of "things"  Meaning do I have all my finances, legal things in order in case anything were to happen to me.  I mean, really? I know she means well but, really?  At 4 months out, I barely manage to make it through each day and the last thing I want to think about is something happening to me and my child being left an orphan, but I get it that we have no control over when something might happen.

So now that the question is out there, have you all taken care of "things" since your spouse's death?  Living trust? will?  your kids guardianship? Is this all something I should be focusing on right now? I hate having to think about these things.


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Re: Have you taken care of "things"?
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2017, 09:18:00 PM »
I did.  But I had been through my father's death and planning, and subsequently, my mother's planning since she moved to my town a year after my father died.

My child was 8.  I knew I had to make a plan for him for security as he worried about me dying.  So, yes.  It was hard, but I had a friend whose husband was an attorney.  And my financial person was in the same agency with my insurance stuff, so it all came together. I was still in a fog, and I got through it.  But it was for my son, mostly. 

So sorry.  It was hard, but I kinda did it "robotically".  But I trusted those who helped me.  It sucks all the way around.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2017, 09:24:31 PM by tybec »


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Re: Have you taken care of "things"?
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2017, 10:24:27 PM »
I initiated things in November when I finally got all the smaller business things in line first. That would be about 7 months after he died but about 4 months after finally getting the death certificate so I could start taking charge of things. We have considerable assets and belongings and I think you need to do these things.

I set up a trust for the kids and I have explicit details how they will inherit and who is executor of estate and if they are still minors who will care for them. I don't want them blindsided and I don't want our assets to go through court or for them to be taxed to death.


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Re: Have you taken care of "things"?
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2017, 07:56:15 AM »
My DH was a financial advisor and when we knew he was terminal he insisted on having a meeting with our attorney, redoing our wills and making sure everything was in place so I wouldn't have to redo mine after he died.  It was an awful thing to sit through with him at the time but it was important for him to be in control and to take that burden off of me.  I appreciated it in the months following when I had so much else to take care of.

Now I am engaged and I need to make an appointment with the lawyer and change things again.  I've been procrastinating but I need to do it.

I understand that this is the last thing you want to deal with but it really is important.  We all know that the unthinkable does sometimes happen and when we have kids unfortunately need to have a plan.  Maybe you could ask your mom to come with you when you meet the lawyer to be your support, if she is someone who you feel is a positive support.  Dealing with this stuff just plain sucks!
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Re: Have you taken care of "things"?
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2017, 09:03:35 AM »
I had a child with NG almost 3 years ago.  It took me a bit, but I do have things set up - life insurance that will go into a trust for her, a savings account for her benefit that is in that trust (while I'm alive, I oversee it, but if I were to die, it would avoid all the probate stuff and wouldn't be subject to the estate costs/fees), I have a will and a health care proxy, etc.  Before I had her, I didn't take care of anything, because it didn't seem to matter - I had nothing and knew all my family knew my end of life wishes.  But now I do and it's a small load off my mind.
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Re: Have you taken care of "things"?
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2017, 09:16:28 AM »
This is a cold fact of life but it's an important one. I had to learn that the hard way. My husband and I were only 30 and we were three days away from updating all of our insurance and forms because we were about to get our first house. He died before we could get the Medicals done. So Not only was the house not covered but my brother-in-law actually got my DH old life insurance policy and took all of it without even batting an eye. This left me to pay off all of the debts alone including the funeral (my in-laws were happy to tell me what should happen but offered no support). I have since gone to my lawyer and got a new will drawn up that way there will be no arguments about whether or not my husband's belongings go to anyone else. It also makes it simple where my belongings go.

 You want to believe it's not going to happen to you, that you've already suffered enough and it seems very cold but you need to get on top of this stuff. The reality is is it can go very wrong very fast when you least expect it. We want to hope for the best and believe people will do the right thing but we really should prepare for the worst as well. Think of it as actually a very loving act that you don't want to burden people with having to fight over What's Left Behind if you actually die suddenly.

Your mother likely means we'll. She can't​ understand your pain and I find a lot of people who can't understand where you're coming from ultimately just want to look at things that can be done like a check list. I was honestly still grieving mess when I went through and did all of this stuff but I'm glad I did. Having somebody that you can talk to and vent through the process like a family member or friend to sit with you as you do it can be helpful. It's awful but it's a necessary. The world isn't kind to those that grieve. Sending you hugs.


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Re: Have you taken care of "things"?
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2017, 09:52:38 AM »
We didnt had will and my wife was in ICU and I was almost driving 100-200 Kms a day in the city and suddenly strikes me that what if something happens to me my kids will not get anything as wife was in coma. So went to lawyer and created a blanket will where everything which belongs to me were to split between 2 kids equally. My son is 19 so I was able to make him executor and guardian for her sister. It is a tough time to go thru but we don't have choice. We are in a place which was not chosen by us so anything else can happen in future. I am planning to revisit will but no rush as everything is going to kids just need to detail them but as it is not mandatory I think I am fine.


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Re: Have you taken care of "things"?
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2017, 09:54:25 AM »
I started taking care of the "things" fairly early.

 I don't speak to my siblings as they are horrible people, so I need to make sure they couldn't touch my kids or their money, they couldn't be trusted to ensure the well-being of my kids.  I already had a will with my LH specifying who would take guardianship of the kids, but need to make sure they were still willing considering its a more pressing need now.   

I had to have a lot of painful discussions with people regarding my wish for medical attention for myself if needed.  I don't have any other immediate family so I needed someone to have a medical power of attorney as well.  I was actually frankly shocked at the number of people who have no plans at all and couldn't comprehend that I would want my affairs in order.   I was also quite surprised at the number of people that didn't think they would be capable of following through with my wishes.  Specifically I don't want machines to keep me alive.   

My lawyer also advised against having the same person control your money and have power of medical decisions, in the event of long term hospitalization etc. 

I've set up a will which defines how and when my kids can access their trusts.    My lawyer also had me draw one up in the horrible case of an accident involving all of us.  Which truly, horribly sucked but was necessary to ensure my terrible evil siblings cannot benefit from my estate.   

It all sucks but unfortunately is a necessary evil. 



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Re: Have you taken care of "things"?
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2017, 12:32:20 PM »
These are such sad things to deal with, and there are awful folks who are scavengers to tragedy.  Money and greed get the worst out of folks. 

I had a will that my DH did when we first married as he was in the Marines, Desert Storm.  Well, we had not updated even though we had a child.  Had talked to a family member about being the caretaker for our son, and she never responded, on DH's side. Yeah, thanks.  So plan B.

When DH died,  Luckily, I knew the judge from church who probated the will.  No problems, then.  But MIL is/was alone, and I guess she could have fought for something if the will was not accepted.  In my state, there are still these archaic laws. If you have no children, and your spouse dies, and you don't have a will, you only get half and the other half goes to the parents, then siblings, etc. of the deceased!    And property is an issue, too, separate, going back to the deceased side of the family.  NO kidding! 

Children need to know a plan.  They worry about who will take care of them if you die, and since it is a reality for our kids, they need to know they will be okay.

My nephew is my back up as they usually suggest a younger person, and I am 14 and 16 yrs. younger than my older siblings.  He is getting ready to go to Abu Dhabi for missionary work, and I need to update my will and plans for DS now.  Ughhh......


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Re: Have you taken care of "things"?
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2017, 02:45:28 PM »
It's a sobering thing to do but a relief to know my son will be looking after things (just in case).
~ she's gone to Heaven so I've got to be good, so I can see my baby when I leave this world ~


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Re: Have you taken care of "things"?
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2017, 06:31:16 PM »
It is truly brutal to deal with the business of death when you are in the throes of grief, but getting your own affairs in order is crucial, too. Updating my own will was one of the first things my attorney insisted upon doing. He set up a trust for my teenage children and assigned a trustee should something happen to me. I didn't think any of this was necessary at the time,  but as certain things came to light in terms of the inlaws' own agendas, who I previously trusted completely, I am very glad things are now written in stone. It is sad and appalling  how money and emotion cause people to to act so shockingly selfish and entitled.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2017, 06:32:58 PM by kjs1989 »


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Re: Have you taken care of "things"?
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2017, 08:35:42 PM »
It took me *way* *too* *long* to do this.  I had a credible, still valid will, but I knew I wanted changes, and then I wrote out the changes with one of those home legal software things, and had it on my computer for ages, wondering how I should get it signed and witnessed.  Finally last summer, some friends going on vacation to Europe asked me to witness their will in front of a notary at the credit union, and I took mine and had them return the favor.  So I am finally done, but it feels like I went a long time not getting down to it.  I'm going to try to not do that in future.

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Rob T
There was something fishy about the butler.  I think he was a Pisces, probably working for scale.


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Re: Have you taken care of "things"?
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2017, 11:03:08 PM »
I took care of my business very quickly. It is very important that you do this immediately. As we all know, we cannot predict the future.  My son's godfather drew up the will. It was very detailed. I know who will be taking care of my children, if they are not alive I have a back up plan, and it's very detailed who will get the money.  I sat down with a financial advisor first and discussed my financial options and ways to invest. I acquired more life insurance and most importantly disability insurance. Since I no longer have my DH,  there's no one to take care of me in case of a disability. My will also states the ages my sons are to receive their money. It also states that they should speak with a financial advisor every time they receive money. They don't have to invest in anything but I want them to have a financial plan. I have two executor of state.  It's best to protect your children as much as possible  and you make the decisions for them. Otherwise, there will be individuals who are not looking into the child's best interest, making decisions for them.


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Re: Have you taken care of "things"?
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2017, 06:20:18 AM »

So now that the question is out there, have you all taken care of "things" since your spouse's death?  Living trust? will?  your kids guardianship? Is this all something I should be focusing on right now? I hate having to think about these things.

Your mother is right - do this immediately as someone upthread mentioned, no one knows what will happen or when.

Do it all - guardianship of the children, will, trusts (if necessary), powers of attorney, funding for the care of the children - all of it. Depending on your situation and state laws you may need to get a professional involved.

My late wife and I had it all in place before she died so when she passed, all I had to do was inform my lawyer what had happened and it was taken care of.

I think it was only two weeks after she passed that my lawyer and I sat down and redid the portions of the plan that needed it. And right before I remarried, my fiancé and I went through the entire process again. It really helps to have the plan current in case the unspeakable occurs - and we all know it can.

I need to find the old post where I wrote about what we did. It's a starting point for you.

Good luck - Mike
The war is over for me now. But those of us who did make it have an obligation to build again, to teach to others what we know, and to try with what's left of our lives to find a goodness and a meaning to this life.


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Re: Have you taken care of "things"?
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2017, 06:36:24 AM »
Found it - I wrote this a few years ago about combining finances and legal plans for a Chapter 2 couple but parts of it apply to this thread - of course, everyone is different but this will give you a starting point for your own situation. 

- Old post follows -


Of all the items to consider when we combined our families, this one took the most time and effort. When we first met, our attraction to each other was obvious in an instant. When we discovered that we had many similarities with our approach to money and how we spent and saved, that made our connection even deeper. We both had been cursed previously with a spouse whose ideas about spending were wildly different than that of our own. For me at least, that fact was a constant source of friction between my late wife and myself. To discover that R. was in line with my own financial philosophy was just icing on the cake. But having said all that, it still required many months and an army of lawyers, financial guys and our CPAs to get everything in place in a manner that was fair to all and protected each of us and our children should the unthinkable happen.

End of life finances:

Both of us brought roughly an equivalent value of assets to our marriage. But, they were different in form; R. has a significant interest in an old family business. She also has significant pension assets. I have ownership of the family farm and homestead that I rent out (and do not live at). Additionally, I had more investments and investment income than R. Right off the bat we decided we would not execute a prenup. Neither of us liked the idea and it felt like "I love you and trust you but. . . . . ". Just not our cup of tea - it wasn't going to work for us. Your mileage may vary of course. We decided instead to protect the kids and each other’s interests through separate Revocable Trusts with each other as the Trustee for the other spouse's Trust. In general, everything is under the control of the surviving spouse when (not if) one of us die. Yes, we trust each other to do the right thing for all of our kids. If we both go at the same time, everything will be divided up equally between the children. In both of those scenarios however, the family business and the family farm remain within the original families. (How this paragraph morphed into 25 pages of legal gobblety-gook in the Trusts is beyond me). Also, each of our remaining parents are elderly and in poor health. Any inheritances from them will go to their respective grandchildren. R. also has a mentally disabled adult brother for whom we are both guardians. Separate monies are split off for his care until he dies. Some college loans will be forgiven but we’ve made it equitable for all by not giving them as much cash. You get the idea.

One other thing - we financed much of the payouts when we go by means of beneficiaries of life insurance and IRA contracts. They are non-contestable in court and will not be probated (and, as a side benefit, no one can view them or how they were set up). Wills can be contested and all your laundry can be viewed by anyone with the $ to pay the copying fees at the courthouse. Doing it the way we did helps guarantee our wishes will be honored. While on this subject - I urge you all to check the beneficiaries of any life insurance policies you have and ensure the beneficiary is who you want it to be. Back in the day I owned an insurance business and I can't tell you how many times a spouse 'thought' he/she was the beneficiary when in fact, they were not. Sometimes the money went to a person that absolutely loathed the insured and there wasn't a damn thing anyone could do about it. Whether by oversight or by design, a beneficiary is what it is at the time of the insured's death. Courts cannot overrule what is stated on the contract (most times) and the issuing insurance company does not ever buy into the "but I deserve it" or "It's not fair" pleas. It's a contract, pure and simple, and will be honored. If it isn't on paper, it's not real.
I guess the questions to ask yourselves and then resolve center around this: What do you want to happen when you or I die? Who gets what? What happens if we both die at the same time? If you have minor children, who will get them? Will you keep them together or will they need to be split apart? Did you check with the folks you selected to care for them? Can they do it? Do they want to??
All of our kids have recently reached their majority. We redid all of our paperwork to reflect that. No matter what one chooses, revisit the paperwork every five years or so. Circumstances change and so should your arrangements to reflect those changes.

Day to day finances:

Both of our monthly incomes are remarkably the same so, we decided to pretty much share all expenses. Just as with the kids there is no 'your money' or 'my money' only 'our money'. We do have separate checking and savings account but that is just for convenience sake. We each have co-signer rights on the others accounts. We discuss spending a lot and if anyone wants to buy something above about $200 or so, we talk it out. This is easy for us as I said before as we have the same financial concerns. We co-own the house/cars/credit cards and mortgage, CDs, IRA and investments.
It doesn't matter how you do it - this just works for us. But, you'd be wise to agree to some plan that works for both of you and stick to it.

There's a lot more but this should get the mental gears turning.

Take a deep breath and get started. There is much to talk about - actually it never stops.

--End of old post -

 :) Best wishes and good luck - Mike
The war is over for me now. But those of us who did make it have an obligation to build again, to teach to others what we know, and to try with what's left of our lives to find a goodness and a meaning to this life.