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  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by skaternum View Post
    Any parent who refuses to discuss basic, practical estate matters with an adult child is, in my opinion, being selfish, unrealistic, and foolish. Mostly selfish.
    And an accident or tragic event can happen to someone of any age. How many of the single folk on this board have given their parents access to their financial info?
    3539 and counting.

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  2. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by barbk View Post
    Copy on Amazon

    http://www.amazon.com/Information-Fa...6590177&sr=8-1

    But -- I wouldn't leave the section on funeral arrangements in a safety deposit box -- that's something that you need to have to hand. If they want to be cremated, finding that out after you've already paid for embalming and a casket is an expensive surprise. So is buying a cemetery plot only to learn that they already own one.
    My name is on my mother's safe deposit box. If something happens to her, I am to go there immediately and get all of her papers. I already know she wants to be cremated, so that is not an issue. But she has cash in the box to pay for her expenses and I am supposed to use that. Now, my mother is 79 (will be 80 in July) and we did not do any of this until she was about 70 and going in for an aortic stent graft.

    Quote Originally Posted by milanessa View Post
    I agree with numbers - stanhope's parents are in their early 60's, hardly a foot in the grave situation. No dementia, no long term health problems and they've already told stanhope what their wishes are if they get ill. I don't get the urgency.
    No they are clearly not incompetent or foot in the grave. But, you never know what can happen. It is always (in my opinion) good for someone to know where your documents and assets are. As I mentioned, I became responsible for all of my father's assets, before he died. I thought I knew where everything was. The estate was settled, the will executed. A year later, I got something from an insurance company. He had a policy which he never told me about. They were about to close it out and turn it over the the government for lack of contact. It came in an envelope that looked like advertising junk mail. If I'd thrown it away, I'd have thrown away about $6,000.00. If you have no idea what banks or advisors your loved one uses, it makes things very complicated. I agree, there is no rush. My kids don't know details about what we have, but they know where it is. I don't know exactly what my mother has, but I know where the papers are and who handles her assets.

  3. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by milanessa View Post
    And an accident or tragic event can happen to someone of any age. How many of the single folk on this board have given their parents access to their financial info?
    Which is why I said someone should know where your important documents are. It can be an advisor and your loved one/s should kow the name of that person. Skaternum is right. My father's death was very painful, if I'd have had to do what skaternum had to do, it would have been much harder. Even when everything is in order, there is so much more to do than most of us imagine.

  4. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by skaternum View Post
    Except that somebody is going to have to deal with your finances after you die. How much hell do you want to put your child through? Isn't their grieving your death enough of a burden? Do you want them to also have to try to piece together your financial puzzle and tidy it all up after you're gone?
    We have everything in an excel/quicken document. Until the time that they need it, they do not need to know the status of my finances. They are all named as beneficiaries of the life insurance policies, the retirement policies, etc. So for all of you who are telling us "older, elderly parents" to get their financial information to their kids - have you provided that information to your children, your parents, and/or siblings?

    My parents' rationale for not telling anyone (except for me, just recently as I will have to administer the trust) - what if they want to/or need it before they die. They don't want anyone either a) bank on the amount of inheritance, b) ask for their share in advance or some other reason that I am forgetting. Now that I know, I wish that they had just left it in the hands of the lawyers.

    As for funeral arrangements - I think that the kids should do what works for them. My uncle requested a cremation - but my cousins just couldn't bring themselves to do that. My mother reminded them that the funeral/disposal of the body was more for the living than the dead and if they felt like they couldn't cremate, then it was ok to do what they could live with. I say ditto.

  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by cruisin View Post
    Which is why I said someone should know where your important documents are. It can be an advisor and your loved one/s should kow the name of that person. .
    I never said different.
    3539 and counting.

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  6. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by numbers123 View Post
    We have everything in an excel/quicken document. Until the time that they need it, they do not need to know the status of my finances. They are all named as beneficiaries of the life insurance policies, the retirement policies, etc. So for all of you who are telling us "older, elderly parents" to get their financial information to their kids - have you provided that information to your children, your parents, and/or siblings?
    But then, essentially you have set everything up. The kids/parents/loved one doesn't have to know every detail, but they should know where they can find it, if they need it. Do your kids know about the excel/quicken document? I never knew the details of my father's finances until he could no longer manage them. I had to take over all of it for the last 3 years of his life. However, several years before that, he asked me to help him set up all of his assets so that they would directly transfer to who he wanted them to go to outside of the will (assuming anything was left). His will, then, became a very simple document: a very small sum to be divided between the grandchildren, and donations to his church and St Jude Children's Hospital. There was also some money that went directly to me, but he told me he wanted that to be divided between the grandchildren. I suppose there has to be a lot of trust involved in a situation like that. My father knew that even though the money went to me and there was nothing binding that I was not to keep it (the kids didn't even know they were supposed to get it), I would do as he wished. I wound up giving them more than he told me to, but that was my choice.

    Quote Originally Posted by milanessa View Post
    I never said different.
    Then I misunderstood your point. I thought you were saying that we should not be expected to share financial information with our families.
    Last edited by cruisin; 02-02-2011 at 01:55 AM.

  7. #87

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    Our family must be atypical. Every one of us older than 50 has given out "in case of emergency" envelopes to the closest relative not living with them with things like location of computer and account passwords, listings of accounts, etc. It's probably because my mother had such an envelope as early as I can remember.
    AceOn6, the golf loving skating fan

  8. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by cruisin View Post


    Then I misunderstood your point. I thought you were saying that we should not be expected to share financial information with our families.
    We shouldn't be expected to - it works for some families, not for others. This I agree with:

    Which is why I said someone should know where your important documents are. It can be an advisor and your loved one/s should kow the name of that person.
    3539 and counting.

    Slightly Wounding Banana list cont: MacMadame.

  9. #89

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aceon6 View Post
    Our family must be atypical. Every one of us older than 50 has given out "in case of emergency" envelopes to the closest relative not living with them with things like location of computer and account passwords, listings of accounts, etc. It's probably because my mother had such an envelope as early as I can remember.
    This reminds me (probably widely known) that the acronym for "in case of emergency" is ICE and everyone should have that in their cell phone directory contact list that dials a family member. If you are in a car accident, rescue personnel are trained to look for ICE in your PDA.
    "awwww....shades of Janet Lynn" - Dick Button on anyone who makes more than one mistake in their program.

  10. #90

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    For those who want a free link of information you should have ready for loved ones, try this one.

    http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/96859.pdf
    "Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don't mean to do harm -- but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves." – T.S. Eliot

  11. #91

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    Quote Originally Posted by milanessa View Post
    And an accident or tragic event can happen to someone of any age. How many of the single folk on this board have given their parents access to their financial info?
    I'm not single, but I've made sure my college-age kid knows where the Emergency file is, and what's in it. (Basically information on where stuff is, and who she could contact for accounting, legal, and insurance assistance. We also included policy numbers, agents names/phone numbers, and a page on requested funeral arrangements along with some detailed language that explains that neither of us is into the fancy funeral thing -- the simpler, the better. And certainly no open casket.)

    I also made sure that one of my sisters has the same information. I have hers.

    Edited to add: And, if someone served in the military and was honorably discharged, the discharge papers are also important if the person wants military honors at the funeral. I know that meant a lot for my dad, and I'm glad we didn't have to scramble to find them.

    None of it was painful, nor do I feel that any of it was an invasion of our privacy. People don't need to know how much is in a certain account as much as they need to know that you HAVE an account at such and such a brokerage, or that you kept an insurance policy you got through an employer you left fifteen years ago. (I have one of those.) The alternative is that those who are left behind get to play a huge and frustrating game of trying to figure this stuff out. It seems a kindness to me to be straightforward about it.

  12. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by barbk View Post
    Edited to add: And, if someone served in the military and was honorably discharged, the discharge papers are also important if the person wants military honors at the funeral. I know that meant a lot for my dad, and I'm glad we didn't have to scramble to find them.
    My Dad was in the military (Korea). We did not need any papers. The funeral director asked us if he'd served, we said yes. He asked where, we told him Korea. He took care of notifying the local guard and there was a 21 gun salute and a flag folding ceremony - I think that made me cry harder than any other part of the services (crying now ).

    None of it was painful, nor do I feel that any of it was an invasion of our privacy. People don't need to know how much is in a certain account as much as they need to know that you HAVE an account at such and such a brokerage, or that you kept an insurance policy you got through an employer you left fifteen years ago. (I have one of those.) The alternative is that those who are left behind get to play a huge and frustrating game of trying to figure this stuff out. It seems a kindness to me to be straightforward about it.
    Exactly! No one needs details, they just need to know where to look. One of the good things about putting your kids names on financial products, is that as long as they know the financial institution, they just need their social to access POD.

  13. #93

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    Quote Originally Posted by cruisin View Post
    My Dad was in the military (Korea). We did not need any papers. The funeral director asked us if he'd served, we said yes. He asked where, we told him Korea. He took care of notifying the local guard and there was a 21 gun salute and a flag folding ceremony - I think that made me cry harder than any other part of the services (crying now )
    ((Cruisin)) -- I know what you mean. The Air Force sent a team down for my dad's funeral, and they gave me the flag. You're right -- it still brings tears to my eyes. (It also meant a huge amount to his brother, who asked us to promise that we would make the same request when he dies.)

  14. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by barbk View Post
    ((Cruisin)) -- I know what you mean. The Air Force sent a team down for my dad's funeral, and they gave me the flag. You're right -- it still brings tears to my eyes. (It also meant a huge amount to his brother, who asked us to promise that we would make the same request when he dies.)
    ((barbk)) It was really moving. When I cleared out my Dad's things, when I moved him out of his house, I found his army uniform. I had it dry cleaned for him and he was so happy to keep it in his closet. When he passed, I gave the uniform to my brother. My brother is usually pretty stoic, that got to him - I believe I saw a few real tears and a quivering chin. I also had my brother take the flag. I had a closer relationship to my father and I thought that the flag and the uniform would give my brother something special. I would have liked to have the flag, but my brother needed it more.

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    My mom had me on her safe deposit box and her checking account. She also had a plastic box set up with all other papers (both financial and things like durable power of attorney for health care) and, told me where the box was kept. She died unexpectedly while vacationing in Japan; that I had access to all her papers made it much easier to arrange the transfer of the body from Japan to her home in California (so she could be buried next to my dad, as she wanted). If your parents are going traveling anywhere, please make sure you know where important papers are located.

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    I just got a bit of information out of my mom about their retirement. Not looking good. My dad has about $80,000 and my mom has nothing saved. They do have very generous life insurance policies, though. That does nothing for them as far as their retirement goes. My mom believes that she will be able to live off of the income on farmland that she will inherit from her mother. That is, if my grandmother isn't forced to sell. My mother's attitude is the worst part of this...she just says "we don't need much" or "it'll all work out." I offered to give her my financial advisor's number and she said she'll think about contacting her. I guess that's a start?

  17. #97

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1lutz2klutz View Post
    I got a helpful booklet from currentcatalog.com called "Information my family needs to know". It is a file folder with loose leaf pages to fill in with bank account and insurance information, wills, power of attorney etc. Maybe starting with something like that, just filling out one page at a time might be less overwhelming. Just having the list of recommended information will be helpful if you're not sure what you should be gathering.
    Thanks for the tip about this book Lutz - I ordered it today from the website.
    I think it will be helpful to my family in case anything happens to me as I am single living alone.

    For those who are facing the prospect of placing elderly parents in a nursing home, I would recommend consulting with a geriatric care specialist in addition to a lawyer. Because we kept him at home for so long with a full time aide, my dad didn't have a big estate - just his condo in Florida that we wanted to protect for him "for when he got better" - so the lawyer wasn't too helpful but the geriatric care specialist actually did the legwork with Medicaid and the nursing him and his application to the nursing home went through smoothly. My dad lived another 5 years there and the care was pretty good - we were lucky.

  18. #98

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    Quote Originally Posted by stanhope View Post
    .... I offered to give her my financial advisor's number and she said she'll think about contacting her. ......
    Dumb question but ... what, exactly, does a financial advisor do? I have a savings account (which I am living off of right now), 401K, and company stock purchase that I diligently had money direct deposited to every paycheck, but that's all. I plan on leaving my 401K with the company plan until I need it for retirement (allowed), but can they look at what I am investing in within that company plan and tell me if I should be in other options than what I picked for higher return on my money already invested? Or do they really want something like, you give them a sum of money to invest for you, and they put you in plans their company manages? Example: they would want me to convert my former company 401K to an IRA and then they manage the IRA account from there? Don't really want to do that if I can leave it with the former company.

    And I assume you have to pay them. About how much does it cost to work with a financial advisor?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BaileyCatts View Post
    And I assume you have to pay them. About how much does it cost to work with a financial advisor?
    It depends on the situation. Many banks offer it for free. The problem, for Stanhope is that, for her parents it's probably too late for a financial advisor to do much. By early 60's they should have been planing for years already. Though, having someone look at what they have, could prove that her mother is right. As long as they are frugal, it may be alright. They will be elligible for SS soon, if they are not getting it early already.

  20. #100

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    Quote Originally Posted by BaileyCatts View Post
    And I assume you have to pay them. About how much does it cost to work with a financial advisor?
    My brother has a small investment advisory firm that focuses on folks nearing and just into retirement. I don't know if is fee structure is typical, but he has two types of clients - ones who have my brother manage their portfolios, and ones who just meet with him for advice. For the ones he manages, he charges a percentage of the total portfolio. For others, it's an hourly rate. A consult would run $200 to $500 depending on how complex. Most of his clients have portfolios ranging from $500k to $2m.

    In his consults, he looks at all the assets, how they are invested, and looks at the client's projected spending and potential tax liabilities. Based on that information, he recommends types of investments that will help the client meet his/her goals.

    As you're not actively managing assets right now, you might just want to check with your bank to see if they provide fee help. Check to see if the company stock will work for you given your long term plans. They can also look at your 401k options and recommend changes in your allocations.
    AceOn6, the golf loving skating fan

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