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Re: Aging parents - What to do?
Old 12-14-2004, 02:09 PM   #41
 
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Re: Aging parents - What to do?

This is for Judy and anyone else who is interested.
Yes, I am a paper pack rat. Have been for decades.
And, I do not want to put my spouse or children
through any unnecessary angst upon my demise.
However, it is a big project to get everything squared
away, for 2 reasons. (1) I have neglected it for years
and (2) I am lazy and would rather do other stuff.
I am hopeful that a clever attorney can draft something
which will grease the process for those left behind
and, at the same time, save me from having to
organize all that stuff in the twilight of my years.

JG
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Re: Aging parents - What to do?
Old 12-14-2004, 03:10 PM   #42
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Re: Aging parents - What to do?

Quote:
save me from having to organize all that stuff in the twilight of my years
Save money ask the attorney you choose for a list of the information s/he will need to prepare your documents which should include at least:
checking and investment accounts - their value on some convenient date. Make a copy of the survivor info on these accounts;
realestate - names on titles and how held;
life insurance - amounts , type and ben. info;
any personal property of value (jewlery, boat, car).

If you are employed make a copy of the survivor info on your 401(k) or similar account.

If you are retired and receiving a pension make a copy of it's survivor's provisions.

Others should add to this list...



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Re: Aging parents - What to do?
Old 12-15-2004, 12:37 AM   #43
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Re: Aging parents - What to do?

Quote:
Others should add to this list...
Here's a synopsis of a letter of instruction we prepared for our kids. We update it annually:

LETTER OF INSTRUCTION IN THE EVENT OF OUR DEATHS OR INCAPACITATION - UPDATED JANUARY 2004

-- Make sure that the medical insurance premium is paid. Currently we have the premium withdrawn automatically from our checking account. Here is all the info you'll need to locate this checking account: _____ . It is crucial that you either make new arrangements, or make sure there is enough in the account. The withdrawal occurs on the first day of each month in the amount of $ _____ . This is our health insurance and contact information: _____ . The benefits booklet is located here: ______ .

-- Our wills are located here : ____ .

-- Life insurance for both of us is in place in the amount of $ _____ each. The policy is located here: _____ .

-- Pension information, name, address, phone, and details

-- We have assets in various taxable & retirement accounts and investments. All of our assets are detailed in Quicken which is on the computer next to the bed and is updated monthly. Check this to get a complete list of our assets as well as names and addresses, etc. Someone who understands Quicken and computers should check this. Backups are located here: ______ . As of 12/31/03 our assets totaled about $ _____ . Paper statements are located here: ______ .

-- We have nursing home insurance. We paid a one time payment for nursing home coverage for both of us. The benefits include ____ . The policy is located ____ . All contact information is included with the policy.

-- We own the house free and clear. The Abstract and deed are located here ____ . You will need to pay the property taxes and house insurance. Insurance is with _____ . The policy is located here: ______ . Here is all contact information: _______. The premium is due each July 10 and must be paid. Property taxes are due before 10/1 and 4/1.

-- We have no other debts whatsoever other than just regular monthly bills and possibly a few medical bills that we are waiting to hear from on the insurance. Our regular monthly bills include: ______ .

-- ____ is in college and we have agreed to pay $ ______ . Take that from our assets and apply it to her college bills. Divide the rest according to the will.

-- All of our social security cards and numbers are in a manila envelope entitled "Social Security Cards" in the fire-proof box located here ____ .

-- We do NOT have a safe deposit box. Everything you need is in the house.

-- All of our mail is delivered to our home. There is no post office box.

-- All of our birth and baptismal certificates are in the fire-proof file box located here: _____ .

-- We have the following credit and debit cards: _____ . All credit cards are in my billfold or Mom's billfold in her purse. We have NO credit card annual fees. We do NOT carry a balance. We pay off each month. The credit card bill is located here: _____ . (include pay-off instructions).

-- No one owes any debts to us except medical insurance may owe us some medical things. We keep a log of anything they owe to us and it is kept here: ______.

-- We have two cars, a 1994 ______ and a 2000 ______. Legal papers (titles, etc.) in regard to those cars are in the firebox located here: ______ . Registrations are in the glove compartments of each car. No money is owed on either car.

-- Our income tax returns from all past years are located here: ______ .

-- All personal property that we own is either in the house or garage or on our property. There are negatives of some of the ancestors' photographs located here: _______ . We will want those to be passed down from generation to generation, so we'd appreciate it if you'd give them to whichever of our kids is most likely to take an interest in that.

-- We have no cemetery plots or funeral arrangements, so I guess you will need to take care of that. Keep it very, very simple and cheap. You can get cheap caskets at the monastery located here: _______ . We'd prefer you not spend much on a funeral. We'd rather you use the money to make your lives easier.

-- We have car and house insurance with _______ . All documents are located here: _____ . Here is contact information: ____ The premiums are due in August 25 each year.

-- Receipts, manuals and warranties for all the stuff we own (computers, appliances, etc.) are located here: ____ (for what its worth).

-- We do not have private disability insurance.

-- Car maintenance records & car owners manuals are located here: _____________ .

-- All of the keys that we use are either on my key chain or on Mom's key chain in her purse. My key chain is either with me or here: _______ . On my key chain is a key to (car1), a key to (car2), one key for the back door of the house, and a key to the garage. Mom has the same keys on her key chain that I have.

-- Apply for a one-time Social Security death benefit (this is a few hundred dollars). You can make arrangements for it through the funeral director and have it applied directly to his bill.

-- Mom's sister, ____ would be the first to contact in her family. She will contact others. Her contact information: _____

-- My parents will contact others on my side, and will come and help you with whatever you need.
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Re: Aging parents - What to do?
Old 12-15-2004, 05:50 AM   #44
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Re: Aging parents - What to do?

All excellent advice. My wife and I have been dealing with these issues with her dad and mom. Issues of control, dementia, finances POA agreements and dealing with bills and assets and NH placement.
With all the above, the worst of it was my wifes brother who lives 7 hours away. NO HELP- NO GOING OUT OF HIS WAY< yet when the house was sold after we did all the cleaning, repairs ect, ect. He was on the phone wanting to know "How much am I going to get and when, send me the papers"
I have learned alot, and I will deal with my sister in a different way. Siblings can be wonderful or a problem
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Re: Aging parents - What to do?
Old 12-15-2004, 11:32 AM   #45
 
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Re: Aging parents - What to do?

Please don't misunderstand. I love my parents and even my dopey brother. But, the more people that are
involved the more messy things get. For example, my
parents have talked as if they will both go at the same time. Not likely. It will be much easier for me to deal with one of them than both, no matter who dies or
becomes incapacitated first. As for my brother, he can just stay home, or if we get lucky a crisis might bring us closer. Either way (with him involved or not) I will
handle it and he will get what's coming to him
If I was guessing, I expect he will be more of a problem than working on this with my folks, and that's saying
a lot. So far, he has been willing to stay on the sidelines
and let me deal with whatever comes up.

JG
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Re: Aging parents - What to do?
Old 12-15-2004, 02:11 PM   #46
 
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Re: Aging parents - What to do?

Quote:
For example, my
parents have talked as if they will both go at the same time. Not likely. It will be much easier for me to deal with one of them than both, no matter who dies or
becomes incapacitated first.
That is certainly my wife's and I's dream. But you're right that it is unlikely. But if you think about it it would be much easier if they did go at the same time. Less people to argue with you.

I am sitting in my hotel room in La Crosse Wisconsin right now. Where exactly did you say we are wrestling tomorrow?
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Re: Aging parents - What to do?
Old 12-15-2004, 02:35 PM   #47
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Re: Aging parents - What to do?

Well JG, it's tough but all things will eventually be worked out, one way or the other. We have a saying in my line of business: All bleeding stops eventually.

Bob Smith, I've said it before, you are my hero! Things would have been so much easier had my parents done this. Can I use you format?

Judy
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Re: Aging parents - What to do?
Old 12-15-2004, 02:58 PM   #48
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Re: Aging parents - What to do?

Judy, what a nice thing to say! Thank you! I hope you find it useful. I can recall reading several books years ago that had various lists of things to be included in a letter of instruction. I pulled the things that applied to our situation and added a few that were based on experiences we had with my wife's parents' deaths.
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Re: Aging parents - What to do?
Old 12-15-2004, 03:22 PM   #49
 
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Re: Aging parents - What to do?

Hey Cut-Throat. It's like this...............First I had to
find the mud (you said BYOM, right?) Anyway, once I loaded my big manly Dodge Ram pick up full to the brim,
all 4 tires went flat. I called the LaCrosse Civic Center
(they weren't happy)
and am hopeful that everyone can get a refund on their
tickets. I have not given up though. It's a great idea
and maybe we could make it an annual event.

Best,

John
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Re: Aging parents - What to do?
Old 12-15-2004, 03:39 PM   #50
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Re: Aging parents - What to do?

Quote:
Bob Smith, I've said it before, you are my hero! *Things would have been so much easier had my parents done this. *Can I use you format?

Judy
Bob,
Second the nominaton. I just reviewed the letter of instruction and was blown away by how you got the bases covered.
Just read an article in new Inc about a guy who died 51 after diagnosis of terminal cancer when 49. His wife still got a bunch of surprises because she did not where to find all the parts of his business activities.
One comment she made, we all might want to include is direction where to find the passwords to our computer and files. This wife said it took her some time to get the right ones guessed-- a lot of what she needed was in the laptop.
Thanks again for sharing.
nwsteve
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Re: Aging parents - What to do?
Old 12-15-2004, 04:10 PM   #51
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Re: Aging parents - What to do?

Thanks nwsteve! Good idea on the passwords. I'm going to add that to my list.
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Re: Aging parents - What to do?
Old 12-15-2004, 04:14 PM   #52
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Re: Aging parents - What to do?

I'm curious about a logistical aspect of your list, Bob_Smith. Obviously, there's a high concentration of confidential information there. How do you protect it from prying eyes?
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Re: Aging parents - What to do?
Old 12-15-2004, 04:56 PM   #53
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Re: Aging parents - What to do?

Wab, I keep a hard copy of the letter in a locked fireproof box in my house. My daughters have a key and know where it is. I remind them annually when I update the list via a phone call or in person. One is 29 and the other is 19. They would be welcome to read it if they wished, but neither has shown interest in seeing details. I keep a digital encrypted copy in my backup systems so I don't need to retype it each year. I should probably get a safe deposit box - but I just don't want the hassle of running back and forth.
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Re: Aging parents - What to do?
Old 12-15-2004, 07:50 PM   #54
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Re: Aging parents - What to do?

Thanks, Bob_Smith. It's probably just my usual paranoia, but I'm uneasy about putting that much info in one place, with one person, under one key, etc. I was thinking about ripping my list in half, distributing multiple keys, and making my heirs solve riddles to put the pieces back together. Not so much for security as for entertainment
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