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About death and money
Old 03-19-2024, 10:10 AM   #1
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About death and money

I followed a link from the Oblivious Investor blog (https://obliviousinvestor.com/) to this post:

9 Lessons I’ve Learned About Death and Money

The author writes about this experience on financial, care & emotional issue on the passing of his father.


I learned a lot from it & realized how much we need to plan for our own aging since we don't have children. We do have good friends who will hopefully, age along with us.
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Old 03-19-2024, 10:32 AM   #2
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Thanks for sharing this walkinwood. It was an interesting article. MIL died recently and previous to that DH was her conservator... so a lot of the discussion hit home. I'm going to review our own plans based on some of the stuff in this.
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Old 03-19-2024, 10:48 AM   #3
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I buried my wife 15 months ago and experienced a lot of this. Not fun after being her caretaker for several years. It wore me out, physically and mentally.
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Old 03-19-2024, 11:23 AM   #4
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That article fit with my experiences taking care of my mom and stepdad.

I can second the recommendation of prepaid funeral. I had gone through the process last year for my mom. Last month I went and used durable POA to prepay for stepdad. My intention was to get the money out of scope prior to Medicaid application next year. However, he died three weeks later. It was a huge relief to just let the funeral company take care of everything.

I am starting probate and Medicaid will claw back for my mothers nursing home time. I expect to get an amount less than 3% of my net worth but still feel a bit guilty. Stepdad was in bad shape and would have been bed bound in the nursing home. I am sure he did not want that life and I think he would be proud to know that he was able to leave some money to his kids.

I was able to sell the house last year but even today am still trying to move boxes of junk to reclaim the first floor and basement of my house. His affairs were simple but still a lot of work.

If I die tomorrow my affairs will be a nightmare for my friend that agreed to be named executor but does not expect to have to. He would probably refuse and who knows what will happen.

I am trying to declutter, simplify finances and document things but it is a never ending process.
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Old 03-19-2024, 11:27 AM   #5
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Thank you. I have been through this with my parents' hospice care and end of life. There is so much relevant here, even though everyone's case is different.

Money can bring out the worst in people. This is really a sad reality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by walkinwood View Post
I followed a link from the Oblivious Investor blog (https://obliviousinvestor.com/) to this post:

9 Lessons Iíve Learned About Death and Money

The author writes about this experience on financial, care & emotional issue on the passing of his father.


I learned a lot from it & realized how much we need to plan for our own aging since we don't have children. We do have good friends who will hopefully, age along with us.
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Old 03-19-2024, 11:32 AM   #6
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That was a worthwhile read (though wish you had summarized it for us). I definantely experienced some of everything mentioned in dealing with death of family and close friends.
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Old 03-19-2024, 12:16 PM   #7
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Good article
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Old 03-19-2024, 12:31 PM   #8
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Much of the article resonates with what we went through last year and the year before with mom.

We moved her locally into assisted living - because she had it in her mind that that was what she wanted. After 3 months there, when she saw it wasn't for her, we moved her to a life plan community in independent living, which was more appropriate. She passed away just under a year later.

The prepaid funeral contract was welcome - it made things extremely easy not having to make impromptu decisions at a difficult time. I was in contact with the funeral home/cemetery in FL while mom was in her final weeks of in-home hospice here in NJ, they confirmed her contract and what it covered - we paid practically nothing. I was also in touch with a local funeral home at the same time as they were needed to pick mom up, prep, and send her back to FL. The two funeral homes coordinated everything and we just needed to quickly plan a trip to FL for the funeral.

As far as financial affairs, the single biggest lesson is to have named beneficiaries on absolutely every financial account. There is no need to hassle with these, no need to go through probate, it was breeze easy. We had everything settled within a few weeks after mom's passing. Since we had sold mom's condo and car in the prior year, she had no other assets beside her Fidelity accounts, Wells Fargo bank account, and an annuity. Me and sis were joint account owners with Wells Fargo and equal beneficiaries on the rest. I did not even open an estate account. There was really no need - though there were a few refund checks totaling about $200 that showed up made out to the estate, so we couldn't cash those. I sent them back and asked issuers to reissue to me, but they wouldn't cooperate. No big deal, not worth the additional headaches.

Anyhow, best advice is to get things in order way in advance, when you feel there is no hurry.

I was so impressed with how things went with the pre-paid funeral stuff, I suggested to DW (a year ago now) that we look into it.
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Old 03-19-2024, 04:50 PM   #9
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I have seen claims that half of the financial institutions don't accept a POA that is old or not on their forms. I haven't seen any data. Standard advice is to submit a POA to relevant institutions before it is needed and get their agreement that they will accept it. State laws in some states say they have to accept a POA that meets the state standard but when the rubber meets the road, the institution holds the high cards.
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Old 03-19-2024, 05:39 PM   #10
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Thanks for sharing....agree, great article....Her Majesty and I are dealing with both our Mother's in their 80's.....Timely and on target.
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Old 03-19-2024, 10:23 PM   #11
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Thank you for sharing.

Wow! Just WOW! Profound. I wish I could have read this sooner. Mom passed away shortly after her 97 BD (Sept 2023) Her last few years were incredibly hard, for everyone involved. For the most part, our collective planning was aligned with the article, however multiple hospitalizations, accelerated move from indep condo living to assisted living was mentally, emotionally and physically draining for Mom and my brother and myself.

I will try to put in place a reasonable action plan for my daughters. One suggestion for others, create an inventory of all important accounts, associated user IDs and passwords and make sure your spouse/children know where the document is stored.
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Old 03-20-2024, 07:55 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jebmke View Post
I have seen claims that half of the financial institutions don't accept a POA that is old or not on their forms. I haven't seen any data. Standard advice is to submit a POA to relevant institutions before it is needed and get their agreement that they will accept it. State laws in some states say they have to accept a POA that meets the state standard but when the rubber meets the road, the institution holds the high cards.
First, thanks for this article. I found the one on paid care options particularly scary; I'd hoped that if you paid enough money you'd get a good facility but that doesn't seem to be the case. It's turned me off from the ones where a large financial commitment is need up front since it limits my ability to go elsewhere.

And yes, the above is true. My brothers had a POA that Dad had executed a few years before, by an attorney in that state, and when Dad was in LTC and his mind was failing, Fidelity wouldn't accept it. They had to get a couple of docs to certify that Dad was no longer mentally competent- exactly what they'd tried to avoid, and traumatic for my brothers to go through.

Next week I'm meeting with an attorney to get some of my papers re-done and I need to ask him how to avoid that issue. Even if I get sign-offs from Fidelity and my other brokerage on whatever I sign now, what if they change their requirements?
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Old 03-20-2024, 09:05 AM   #13
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Great article, #1 stands out for me. We took care of my mom for the last 4 months of her life. She lived alone before that and paid all her bills, basically was happy she could stay at home. Lived to 93. But in the last 4 months she went down fast and we scrambled. Did not know what to do, medically and to keep her comfortable.

#1 stands out for us. We don't have children and would not burden any family member with our care. Unless we paid them. Sounds terrible, but I would pay my niece (a fair salary) to care for me and make it worth her while rather than a stranger.
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Old 03-20-2024, 10:08 AM   #14
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It is sad and yet sobering that we don't have better end of life care for our elderly folks. The best any of us can hope for, is not to be a burden on our loved ones when our time approaches.
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Old 03-20-2024, 10:14 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by FargoI View Post

I will try to put in place a reasonable action plan for my daughters. One suggestion for others, create an inventory of all important accounts, associated user IDs and passwords and make sure your spouse/children know where the document is stored.
I have created a When I Die notebook for my daughter that addresses all needed information and paperwork. Simple to do and should be updated every year.
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Old 03-20-2024, 10:35 AM   #16
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I couldn't see the article-I was blocked, probably because I use a VPN.

I prepaid my dad's arrangements here in PA, but his funeral was in California. So flying the casket out was arranged by the funeral home. It was surprisingly easy. As I had POA, I paid out of his account.

My parents bought a cemetery plot probably 20 years before my dad died, and 15 years before my mom died.

It really helped to know his finances and accounts before he died, and also I sold his house about 6 months after he moved into assisted living, which gave him cash for lots of expenses with no stress.

I have started working on a binder with information, but need to get it up to date. The funeral home had a binder for us to use and I patterned my work after my dad's info.
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Old 03-20-2024, 10:50 AM   #17
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DM passed away last August.

Life Insurance collection was a beast. Thank you Combined Insurance Company.

She had a small brokerage account with Equitable Advisors. Extremely difficult to work with.

She had her bank account in a TOD to her grandchildren.

Her wishes was to be cremated. She had not put this in writing with the funeral home, they told me that 51% of her children had to sign off. I have one brother, his response was "what's in it for me?" and refused til he got something. The funeral home and I met his demands and he signed off. He was sent a written invitation to the funeral by the funeral home and didn't attend....

The small personal property can be a head ache. DB asked for all of it, I gave it to him and told him to give me back what he thought I should have. I found out he took it all to a pawn shop and sold it for a few hundred bucks.

In summary, I agree to pre plan your own funeral. Get your assets in order ahead of time with TOD, Beneficiaries and Life Estate. Give your personal property away before you die. Put it in writing so those left out don't think someone stole it.
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Old 03-20-2024, 12:00 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njhowie View Post
Much of the article resonates with what we went through last year and the year before with mom.

We moved her locally into assisted living - because she had it in her mind that that was what she wanted. After 3 months there, when she saw it wasn't for her, we moved her to a life plan community in independent living, which was more appropriate. She passed away just under a year later.

The prepaid funeral contract was welcome - it made things extremely easy not having to make impromptu decisions at a difficult time. I was in contact with the funeral home/cemetery in FL while mom was in her final weeks of in-home hospice here in NJ, they confirmed her contract and what it covered - we paid practically nothing. I was also in touch with a local funeral home at the same time as they were needed to pick mom up, prep, and send her back to FL. The two funeral homes coordinated everything and we just needed to quickly plan a trip to FL for the funeral.

As far as financial affairs, the single biggest lesson is to have named beneficiaries on absolutely every financial account. There is no need to hassle with these, no need to go through probate, it was breeze easy. We had everything settled within a few weeks after mom's passing. Since we had sold mom's condo and car in the prior year, she had no other assets beside her Fidelity accounts, Wells Fargo bank account, and an annuity. Me and sis were joint account owners with Wells Fargo and equal beneficiaries on the rest. I did not even open an estate account. There was really no need - though there were a few refund checks totaling about $200 that showed up made out to the estate, so we couldn't cash those. I sent them back and asked issuers to reissue to me, but they wouldn't cooperate. No big deal, not worth the additional headaches.

Anyhow, best advice is to get things in order way in advance, when you feel there is no hurry.

I was so impressed with how things went with the pre-paid funeral stuff, I suggested to DW (a year ago now) that we look into it.
I would just deposit the check electronically using the bank app on my phone and be done with it. Maybe add "Joe Smith for the estate of Jane Smith" when you endorse it.
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Old 03-20-2024, 12:06 PM   #19
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I have seen claims that half of the financial institutions don't accept a POA that is old or not on their forms. I haven't seen any data. Standard advice is to submit a POA to relevant institutions before it is needed and get their agreement that they will accept it. State laws in some states say they have to accept a POA that meets the state standard but when the rubber meets the road, the institution holds the high cards.
A friend ran into a POA problem because it was more than 6 months old. Her mom passed before she could make the required changes to a stock account and it's been a long, long process getting things straightened out (over 8 months). Come to find out, her mom had a will but she didn't have the signed copy. Comedy of errors but thankfully the 3 kids are on the same page about everything.
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Old 03-20-2024, 12:43 PM   #20
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I would just deposit the check electronically using the bank app on my phone and be done with it. Maybe add "Joe Smith for the estate of Jane Smith" when you endorse it.
I thought about it for a minute or two at the time, but there could be legal ramifications for doing that...even though I was personal representative/executor. In the end, just decided the amount was not enough to pursue anything or take any chances. And again, it was small refunds for prepaid stuff - wasn't any money that we were expecting.
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