When someone dies, we have a funeral and they are gone. They may have passed but they have left a world of work here that makes it seem like they're still a part of our daily lives. Not only do we mourn the loss of our loved one but we are forced to deal with all the legal red tape-the insurance policies, death certificates, taxes, will or lack of and property. Yes, it's a lot but we can make it a lot easier on our loved ones. Take some time to visit with your spouse/kids/significant others and get some things down on paper!!
1. Do you have real estate or minerals? Decide who gets what! Property should not be left undivided...when it is the heirs are often ripped apart, relationships are destroyed! (Minerals are okay to be undivided as they are payments you receive when leased...don't sell them! You never know when they will pay out!) If you have several parcels of property decide who gets what and put it in your will!
2. Things in you home...yes, it seems morbid to think about dividing up the china in the cabinet, knick-knacks, furniture and pictures but it will happen when you're gone. Get some tape and start identifying on items exactly who you want to receive what items. Has little Susie always admired your beloved china cabinet? Put her name on it so everyone will know it belongs to her when you're gone.
3. What about money...is one child helping you more, should they be compensasted more than the others...has Johnny not called or visited in the last 15 years--does he really deserve what Susie does when she has sacrificed her life and health to care for you? It's your money, you earned it and you get to decide if it goes to family or a charity--no one deserves an inheritance, that is a gift and you get to choose who receives it and who doesn't.
4. Funeral...decide what you want. Do you want an open casket or closed...do you want "Shall We Gather at the River" or "Spirit in the Sky"...do you want to be cremated, vaulted or maybe even a green burial? Lots of options get it decided and put it on paper!!!
5. If you have kids still at home, have that difficult talk--who will raise them if you and your spouse die at the same time. If grandparents live out of state and you haven't desgnated a person, they might wind up a ward of the state until a hearing.
Get all these things together as we're all going one of these days! It's a lot easier to discuss these things when you're healthy and expecting to live forever...don't wait until you're terminally ill or deceased. I know this is a real downer, not really what any of us want to think about but we should. My grandma died almost a year ago...property was left undivided and the kids wound up having to settle it in court...things were finally finished today but like that board with a nail in it the damage is done; relationships fractured never to be the same.
Today we're crazy blessed to be enjoying our lives...tomorrow we may be crazy blessed in life eternal :)
Great advice. My stepmom has not spoken to her brothers in ten years because of fighting over their parents estate. I hope your family finds healing in their relationships.ReplyDelete