If you dropped dead today, have you left major loose ends for others to sort out?
Wills, beneficiaries, medical/funeral directives, bequests? Who will feed the cat?
In fact, I have started a notebook with my preferred obit, financial info, household "Heloise-type" stuff, recipes, etc.
Yes. Will, healthcare proxy, burial wishes.
Assets go to the bf, and if we both knock off, mostly to charities.
The only thing I need to do is put the title of my apartment in the name of my trust...
I'm in pretty good shape. Only a few loose ends I should tie up.
I don't expect to die any time soon, but a friend and I acted as co-executors recently for an estate that was a mess. It was an education in how bad it can get.
My sister who lives out of state has agreed to be my power of attorney for both health care decisions and financial matters, and a close friend has agreed to assist her. I've made a will and set up health care directives, and everything is signed and ready to use. My sister has the originals and my friend, my attorney and my PCP have copies. Not only did I provide my sister and friend with the legal documents, they each have a copy of everything else they'll need.
I've arranged for a quick and drama-free cremation with no service.
In case I die before them, I have a good home set up for my two cats with a friend who is a cat lover and knows both of them well.
Prescient post this. Just dealing with the huge, huge, fuck-up of an estate belonging to a family member. He left loads of unpaid bills, parking tickets and mortgages in arrears on three properties.
Tenants from one of the properties have been ringing me up because their power has been cut off - turns out the bill has not been paid, even though all the tenants are up to date on their rental payments.
My relative's best friend claims one of the properties belongs to him - they concluded a verbal agreement to sell the property. We've seen no evidence of this, and now the mate is ringing up family members and threatening them.Even though the property will in any case be seized by the bank and we have no influence over who will eventually get it when the estate is wound up.
Get a will. And make it clear, and up to date.
Those of you who are prepared, who did you select as your estate's executor, and the back-up?
My sister and my bf's brother
[quote] In fact, I have started a notebook with my preferred obit, financial info, household "Heloise-type" stuff, recipes, etc.
R1, I'm half-hoping your notebook is bound in fine leather, with an embossed gilt title in ominous gothic script, "To be opened upon occasion of my death", and not just a composition notebook set atop the safe where you've told the appropriate parties it will be found.
I'm afraid all of my important papers (the originals, at least) are stuck away in a safe. It will take some rifling through to sort things out; the notebook is a good idea. Meantime, I need to tell the back-up executor/s where to find the safe and how to get into it.
I have all my affairs in chronological order.
I guess this is for single people? My family would feed the pets. I'm married, so joint checking acct. etc.
I have decided not to have any family members be my health care power of attorney . . . . Were I to be in a bad accident (or whatever) and have no chance of a decent quality of life I want to have it ended in whatever way is legally possible . . . . removal of medications, no medical interventions etc . . . And I do not want to put it on family to make that decision, seems cruel to me to have close family members responsible for pulling the plug, so I have entrusted that end of things to a good friend that I trust to carry out my wishes with no guilt lingering later on in his life.
As Steve's closest friend, I routinely call local hospitals and remind them to kill Mr. K if he visits. I get the condo and the cat. Hoping someone steals the unfortunate-looking car.
I have made absolutely no arrangements. My siblings, who I am not much in contact with, would be my heirs. I don't see any reason to spend a thousand dollars in legal fees to set up a will to ensure that they get my assets. It doesn't feel appropriate to leave anything to the few acquaintances I have. I'm ambivalent about leaving anything to the charitable organizations I support (though I am leaning toward making a couple of them beneficiaries).
I wish there were someone or some entity that I felt more strongly about. It would make things easier. But as it is, there is no motivation to do anything.
But yes, it pretty much has that title! "À La Recherche Du Temps Perdu" was already taken.
The only loose ends I have are the result of having to deal with the estate of a close friend who left loose ends, which might have to fall to my loved ones if anything happened (simultaneously) to my partner and me (notice grammar Nazis, I first wrote to my partner and I but corrected myself in time). And I'm working hard to resolve those.
It isn't fun.
Damn! I keep forgetting to clear that pron off my computer and dispose of some, er, items.
I usually do that before I take any trip. More important than a will, man. Them's just things - they're not my name.
In any event, why do we want to make things easier for those who still get to live while I'm in some box or just a bunch of ashes? If they want my things and money I say make them work for it. Maybe a scavenger hunt or an Indiana Jones- type quest. They'll be prizes at the end.
[quote] My relative's best friend claims one of the properties belongs to him - they concluded a verbal agreement to sell the property. We've seen no evidence of this,
Been a long time since I took property law and it's not my field but IIRC property contracts and transfers must be in writing. Your "relative's best friend" is out of luck and probably full of shit.
If your relative owned comercial property the he had a lawyer and he knew full well that it had to be in writing. Maybe he was just putting his "best friend" off. But then again if the property is not so great then sell it to him now before you take ownership from the estate - shouldn't that reduce taxes if you were to later sell it?
No. Up until a few months ago I had nothing to leave to anyone except my cat and my gigantic book and DVD collection. My best friend said he'd take my cat, donate my books, sell my DVDs, and empty out my apartment. Now I'm in the process of inheriting a lot of money so I really need to make a will so my asshole brother, who I hate with my entire being, won't get whatever money I'd have as he is my only family member left.
I had a medical power of attorney about ten years ago when I had cancer and my oncologist wasn't sure which way it would turn out, but that friend died and I haven't made a new one because, like R11, I don't want to put anyone I love thru the guilt of having to 'pull the plug' on me. I had to take my 16 year old son off life support 6 years ago and while it was logically the right decision (he had muscular dystrophy and was past the point of any recovery) the guilt I still feel is enormous.
The only thing I have is a letter stating that I want to be cremated, but not until 72 hours past the time I die, and I don't want a funeral or memorial service. At the time I didn't have the money or life insurance to pay for it, but I still feel the same way now that I have life insurance and will have money enough for it. Maybe I'll leave money for my friend's to go out to a bar and get drunk and tell stories about me and tell all my secrets.
I also want no autopsy unless it's absolutely 100% legally necessary. I'd heard somewhere that in the case where the deceased doesn't want an immediate autopsy they can draw blood after death and put off the rest of the autopsy for at least 72 hours. Anyone know if that's true?
R18, an advance health care directive aka living will is very specific about when you want the plug pulled. The decision is not up to any individual, so there's no reason for guilt.
I don't want to be kept alive when there's no reason for doing so. I went through hell after I had my dog euthanized, even though I absolutely knew it was the right thing to do. I wouldn't put that on anyone else.
I was facing the possiblity of dying during multiple brain surgeries due to hemmorhages and a malformation. I was 28.
It forced me to complete my Will, Health Care Proxy, Organ Donation wishes, power of attorney. I already had already set up a trust with all assests going to my Niece.
EVERYONE should have their affairs in order, you never know when something might happen.
Question for those of you who do have your affairs in order. Where do you even begin with this process? What should I make certain to have done or in writing?
Yes, where do I begin? It's time I get my affairs in order.
Please list the items that we should prepare:
-Will (what goes in this?)
I saw Suze Orman had some product on QVC
For R21 & R22, it depends in part on your assets and your wishes; it can be simple or complicated, depending on what you want.
Generally, most people start with a lawyer. Ask about what is involved in setting up a will and related documents and you should get some idea of what might be worth consideration -- and what it may cost.
A will & possibly trusts
Advance directives (a living will which states your wishes, mostly as a guideline; a durable power of attorney for health care which invests individual/s with the power to act on your behalf in medical decisions)
Powers of attorney (durable and/or general)
Funeral/burial/cremation/medical donation plans
Gathering personal records and financial records (vital records, contacts, financial accounts, assets, debts, insurance policies, etc.)
R21 and R22, I had access to legal document templates so I was able to create my own will, living will and everything else I needed. You can find those forms online, but make sure you use those that will be recognized by your state.
I have a good friend who is an attorney who helped me by making sure everything would fly, signatures were witnessed correctly (very important), that sort of thing. If you opt to use a lawyer, do as much of the work as you can because they bill by the hour. You don't want a lawyer and a paralegal to bill you for things you could easily do for yourself.
I found this site called, appropriately enough, Get Your Shit Together, that walks you through the process. There's a lot of great online info. I suggest reading everything you can until the process is clear in your mind and you know what you need to do. For me, the hardest part was sitting down and making myself think very clearly and objectively about how I wanted everything to be handled. As part of the process, I simplified quite a few things in my home (financial records, insurance policies, deeds and titles for home and car, hard copy files and computer files) so that people can find everything they will need, organized so they don't have to spend any time clearing up a mess.
My mother never met a financial record she wouldn't store away, though in no discernable order (a problem exacerbated by dementia late in life). There were truckloads of pay stubs going back to World War II, tax returns, financial prospectuses, monthly, quarterly, and annual statements, bills, checkbook registers, cancelled checks, dividend stubs, every magazine subscription and charitable donation request ever received, etc. All a jumble by subject and chronology.
For the last decade or so that she handled her own finances, she moved money around almost constantly, as one series of bonds would mature, the cash was moved elsewhere, and again and again. There were records of scores of accounts, but no clear indication that many of them had been closed out, the money funneled elsewhere.
Spending most of a year sorting through her finances, I make it a point to keep a simple ongoing list of financial accounts and assets. Every January 1st I update it, noting accounts closed and opened, and statement balances, changes in account numbers of financial institution name (mergers, etc.)
Even though it would be relatively easy to piece together what I have from chronological files of statements, having a checklist seems a much better starting point and a small act of kindness for my heirs and executors.
[quote] "My relative's best friend claims one of the properties belongs to him - they concluded a verbal agreement to sell the property. We've seen no evidence of this, and now the mate is ringing up family members and threatening them [quote]
All transaction involving real property are required by law to be in writing. They don't have a leg to stand on.
My ex and I are only children, with no parents alive. We are leaving everything to each other , as we had a 20 year relationship, and are still friends. We have agreed, that should any new boyfriend come along , for either of us, that turns into a serious longterm relationship, we are still keeping our wills / estates the same as we are really like family for each other.
Inside my apartment door is an 11X14 envelope, "IN CASE OF EMERGENCY" with instructions on who to call. That person has all paperwork necessary after my death, beginning with name of crematorium. Also included are passwords for the net and PINs for bank accounts.
If I pass out on the street my cell phone has an ICE (In Case Of Emergency) contact number for the police or hospital to call my friend.
I've heard of DNR orders being ignored by doctors who want to keep the patient bringing income to a hospital in which he's an owner.
R30, I suppose it depends on the hospital but when my mother was hospitalized for a stroke, the hospital respected my wishes. She had told me many times that she did not want to live in a debilitated state and her doctors agreed with me. One doctor said, Oh, we could rehabilitate her, but I knew my mother would not want to live in a nursing home (her stroke had left her unable to speak or swallow). I had the health care POA and I said to the doc, "If it's not for this, then what is it for?" RIP, Mom. I still miss her.
Not yet. I'm 42. I have a Healthcare Power of Attorney set up, as well as a Medical Directive. I'm in the process of setting up an irrevocable trust, a will and general death arrangements (body to medical school -- cadavers are fun!), disbursement of sentimental objects.
I know some people find it morbid, but I actually enjoy making sure that everything is taking care of. I wouldn't want to burden anyone with all the trouble of taking care of probate. We had to do that when my dad died and it was a nightmare. I could never subject my friends and/or family to that.
If yoy are 60 ir older you should also pre-pay your funeral.
Nope. If I died today I guess my parents would be splitting $100,000 and SOMEBODY would be cleaning my apartment.
I'm not going to be here when I'm dead so I don't care what happens to my stuff. Let the state decide what to do.
R33, some people don't care about funerals. My mom, who died 3 years ago at the age of 84, said, "Just throw me away!" I didn't, but I have her ashes in my house, still trying to figure out what to do with them.
Bumping for the guy who thought he was going to die tonight
That reminds me. I have to change the beneficiary of my life insurance policy soon. Mom and Dad have been dead for over 20 years and they ain't collecting nothing when I die. Maybe I'll surprise a nephew.....maybe.
Yep, I had my own will, POA, and medical directives all done when I was settling my mother's estate. I was so grateful that she'd had all that stuff done ahead of time that I wanted to make sure I extended the favor to my survivors.
I've made no specific provisions for my cats because my heirs are responsible people who would find good homes for them if they weren't able to take care of them themselves. But if that situation changed, I'd certainly alter my will.