Please have your affairs in order

AbbysMom

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First off, I’m not posting this looking for sympathy.

People don’t like to talk about wills or wishes for funeral arrangements, but I implore you all to please have your affairs in order. My brother died unexpectedly two days ago at age 60. His daughters still have not found a will. I honestly don’t think he had ever done one. They do not know if he had a valid life insurance policy. His banking info is not all in one place in his house. These girls are having a hard enough time dealing with their unexpected loss and now they are trying to figure out how to pay for a $10,000 funeral, and they don’t even know if they will ever be able to. Between the rest of the family we are getting things paid until they figure out what is going on.

He had told enough of us little bits and pieces of what he’d want at his funeral that the girls have been able to put something together that they feel he’d be happy with. That has come from going to funerals and wakes with him and him making offhand comments like “At my funeral....”. He never sat down and told anyone what he’d actually like.

Please set up a health care proxy and power of attorney.

Right now a difficult time is being made much more difficult. Please don’t do this to your loved one.
 

Winchester

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Karen, I am so very sorry for your loss and for what you and your nieces will be going through in the next several weeks. You know, well-meaning people seem to think that they'll either live forever or that they're too young to think about wills and finances. It's so sad.
 

artiemom

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I am so sorry for you, your nieces and rest of the family. :alright:

Yes, this is an important reminder.

If I may add something: in addition to Wills, Funeral Arrangements, financial documents. Please have a Health Care Proxy In place. Also, a durable Power of Attorney.

These things are very important. Have a discussion with your Proxy on your wishes—-where important documents are kept.

I am very fortunate. I have a close friend who “hounded” me into creating all these things.

Now , I am glad I did. All except funeral arrangements. I can rest easy. I have discussed my wishes with my POA/HC Proxy.
 

MoochNNoodles

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I’m sorry this hard time is being made harder. My best friend lost her dad suddenly almost a year ago and his things weren’t in order either. No one thinks these things will happen suddenly.

Last year my mom and stepdad went ahead and arranged for their spots at a Veterans cemetery. They also made sure I know where there’s important documents are kept. They also know where mine are. Thankfully my Grandparents were very practical about these things so we’ve had a good example. My other grandpa wouldn’t talk about it. Even though he was almost 90 when he passed and my aunt had long taken care of his finances; it still left a lot of decisions to be made in a short time.
 

sivyaleah

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Oh Karen, just saw this. I'm so very sorry about your brother, and the circumstances.

Thanks for taking the time to caution about how important it is to attend to things we all like to ignore while alive. My husband and I actually did our wills when we got married. The one thing we didn't implicitly deal with though, was the kitties. We've spoken to family members about it but we do really need to add this more explicitly in writing.
 
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AbbysMom

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Thank you all. As I mentioned, I really didn't mean for this thread to be about me. :) I just really wanted to implore everyone to talk to your loved ones, have a will, have a health care proxy, do a power of attorney made up. Think of your loved ones. Don’t leave them in a mess.

Yes, that is the cost of the funeral with a wake, burial, church service, etc. There are a few small extras in that such as having the obituary printed in the paper. That was over $600. My mother insisted on that. None of the choices made were extravagant. That does not include the meal after the funeral.
 
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AbbysMom

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I should mention that I do have a will, health care proxy and a power of attorney made up. I do have a stipulation in there that any pets I have at the time of my death go to my niece and she can not keep them she is to find them a good home. there is money to be set aside to go to wherever they end up. I believe my husband and I did our first wills in our late 30’s. We probably waited too long, but we don’t have kids and weren’t worried about where children would end up. Anyone with minor children really should get it legally on paper where you want your children to go in the event of your death.
 

di and bob

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$10,000.00 for a funeral is towards the low end too! That is about an average. As one who has been through many funerals, I have seen many that were more towards $20,000 in this day and age. Headstones, obituaries, embalming, caskets,and vaults are all VERY expensive. Cremation is the cheapest. There is one more thing I could add too, PLEASE, as you get older,you have the time to sort through and get rid of all that excess stuff you have accumulated over the years. Have your children take or mark what they want now, while you are still here to referee. Have all your pictures organized with explanations and who is in them on the back, this took me a whole winter after my father died and my mother went into assisted living. I have so many pictures of past relatives and have no idea who they are, my mother's memory is gone. It took us a month of driving every day 140 miles round trip to sort through all their household items. They never threw anything away and it was a nightmare. My inlaws are even worse, it will take literally months to sort through all their stuff. This is hard to do while you are grieving. It's bad enough to sort through all the funeral arrangements because they didn't leave a will with their wishes. You just hope you did what they want. Better yet, offer to help your ageing parents to get oraganized NOW, it would save a lot of heratbreak and time in the future. After going through all this with my parents, I don't want my daughter to have to go through the same nightmare.
 

Jem

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My Dad set up a life insurance policy on both my sister and me. It is for 10,000$ to cover funeral costs and that's it. It's just another way that he's trying to help us out. He said that he would transfer the policy in my and my husband's name after we got married, but still hasn't done it yet...but I'm not concerned. Dad's a good man who would honor the policy payout and cover the funeral. He even relinquished his inheritance from the sale of his parents home to his sister who is less financially fortunate than him.
Setting up a will and power of attorney is something that we still have to do, we just need to make the time to do it. We would both be up poop's creek if something happened to either of us. My husband owns a business and I take care of all household finances from a separate account that he technically has no access to...and that's just a couple of examples....

Thanks for the reminder, and I'm very sorry for the loss of your brother.
 
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