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elkroeger

Don't leave a mess behind

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elkroeger

Well my old man passed away a couple weeks ago now. (he was elderly, and in and out of hospice for years, so its a bit of a relief, really).

 

My message to you today: Don't leave a mess behind. Go clean out your garage and your basement. Throw away your old paperwork. Make it clear to everyone where your prized possessions are to go. Shucks, there's nothing creepy about writing out how you want your headstone to read. You know it's coming. Its unavoidable. Just do it.

 

Assume that your heirs will leave no stone unturned in their epic quest to argue about EVERYTHING.

 

Here's a good book that I gave my folks some time ago, but sadly they never read it.

 

Beyond the Grave

Edited by elkroeger

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Dave McReynolds

I've noticed that this seems to be more a problem for men than women. Most women I've known, including my mother, went out of their way to organize things before they died, sometimes to the point that it seemed compulsive to me. However, being compulsive to the point that all the i's are dotted and all the t's are crossed certainly does make it easier for the survivors who have to figure things out. It was hard enough just cleaning out the few things she left in her assisted living room that were things she used in her everyday life, which we had to do shortly after her death when we definitely didn't feel like it.

 

She had done all the heavy lifting several years before, after my dad died, when she cleaned out all the mounds of stuff in their house and sold it. I chided her about selling the house in a down market, and felt like she was getting rid of a lot of good stuff and family history rather precipitously, although we were allowed to take whatever things we wanted. I suppose I was just expressing the typical man's attitude about not doing those things, as opposed to her need to get things organized in advance of her inevitable death.

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elkroeger

that's been my experience. Perhaps there's some left over hunter gatherer gene from our cave man days that causes guys to do this more than gals.

 

the Why chromosome: Why did you bring this home? Why can't we get rid of it? Why don't you get off the couch and clean the basement?

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Mike

My folks downsized twice before they passed away. It helped considerably, but it was still quite an ordeal.

 

I won't go into detail here, but the experience of dividing their assets was excruciating and caused deep family rifts. The best gift you can give those left behind is clarity and certainty, in the form of a will or trust that makes it crystal clear how things are to be handled. Even with a carefully drawn estate plan, we ended up dealing with conflict.

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Jake

Sorry for your loss, Eric. My Dad left this great planet a year and a half ago and I'm still dealing with things financial and material. Magazine subscriptions that won't cancel, and charities that are quite sure I am him. Family members who won't cash checks thinking they are doing something good, but gee I'd sure like to close out that Estate account since I told the IRS it was done.

 

Get ready to deal with all of the mortgage broker solicitations who want to "help" you sell your folks' place if they have one.

 

Get a will. Get a trust. Fund the trust. Ensure beneficiaries on are every account that can accept one, then add Transfer on Death agreements for the others. Don't collect all of those name and address stickers that Easter Seals sends you, because your son will spend weeks trying to find them all to throw out.

 

And by all means, if you have an old WC Fields statue lying around, please make it clear who gets it because one of your kids is going to take it from the other without telling them. Then it'll probably end up unceremoniously in some garage somewhere.

 

IMG_1788-M.jpg

 

 

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szurszewski
Well my old man passed away a couple weeks ago now. (he was elderly, and in and out of hospice for years, so its a bit of a relief, really).

 

My message to you today: Don't leave a mess behind. Go clean out your garage and your basement. Throw away your old paperwork. Make it clear to everyone where your prized possessions are to go. Shucks, there's nothing creepy about writing out how you want your headstone to read. You know it's coming. Its unavoidable. Just do it.

 

Assume that your heirs will leave no stone unturned in their epic quest to argue about EVERYTHING.

 

Here's a good book that I gave my folks some time ago, but sadly they never read it.

 

Beyond the Grave

 

 

That's very good advice. My grandmother died about six years ago now - she had two kids: my dad and my aunt. I went over to Idaho to help them clear out the house; my dad wanted to be done TODAY, but my aunt wanted to reminisce about everything her mom touched. Both were ways for them to grieve, but it caused some conflict. I distinctly remember my dad, at one point, looking at me and saying: when I die, you and your brother take whatever you want out of the house and then bulldoze or burn the rest.

 

My wife and I are both our mothers' only children. We're going to have a LOT to go through. My goal, since we have only one child, is to get rid of almost everything before we die so he isn't crushed by a mountain of nostalgia.

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elkroeger

funny you should mention the easter seals. There's piles of exactly that. Easter seals from the 1970s. I put a stack in the recycle, and my brother started picking through it. "Hey, this isn't garbage!"

 

Really?

 

REALLY?????

 

I told my wife I'm ready to get in the bathtub with the toaster.

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LBump
funny you should mention the easter seals. There's piles of exactly that. Easter seals from the 1970s. I put a stack in the recycle, and my brother started picking through it. "Hey, this isn't garbage!"

 

Really?

 

REALLY?????

 

I told my wife I'm ready to get in the bathtub with the toaster.

 

Sorry for you loss.

 

Really? Yes. People collect everything and anything, even Easter Stamps

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Skywagon

Been there done that...awful experience. I was executor of parents with no will. I watched people wrestle over plastic flowers.

 

Estate settling brings out the absolute worst in humans. Get a will...

 

Sorry for your loss and hope you can reflect on all the good times.

Edited by Skywagon

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Tank

I just left ( in wonderful health) my 95 y/o Papa... the gleam in his eyes told me everything. With three living adult children I hope it goes as smooth as he hopes.

 

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Indy Dave

Ohh, were it soo simple as a will and trust! :rofl::P

 

My mother passed away just over 3 years ago(!) and she did leave a will and her estate was in a trust. And still the bickering and fighting and pettiness is truly amazing. Shawn and I have had 3 vacations interrupted by marathon conference calls, some with one sibling not participating - then accusing us all of conspiring, etc etc etc.

My point is that even with a will and trust, things can go awfully wrong if there is a lack of specifics on personal property and /or one or more siblings are dysfunctional and/or want 'everything'.

 

I like the toaster in the bathtub summation. My wife, one of my sisters (the co executor) and I have all felt that way many times though this, and it's not over yet. Everyone is coming to my house to go through family history and letters going back 3 generations.

 

A close friend saw a show on Netflix - 'Bloodline', which she recommended because the manipulative brother in the show reminded her of my brother. That show is a pretty good take on some family dynamics.

 

 

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mikeR1100R

So sorry for your loss. Yes I have seen in my family and in other families relatives who hadn't been seen or heard of in years all of a sudden showing up knowing just how the final arrangements should be done. If any serious money is involved it really brings out the worst in people.

I am very fortunate in that my parents have seriously downsized and have done everything possible to ensure that their estate arrangements are taken care of.

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