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.
Last edited by cruisin; 02-02-2011 at 02:55 AM.
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
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For those who want a free link of information you should have ready for loved ones, try this one.
"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
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.
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.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.
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.
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?
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.
And I assume you have to pay them. About how much does it cost to work with a financial advisor?
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