Last night my husband and I went to meeting concerning “end of life” planning of all types. Wills, funeral planning, Durable Power of Attorney for healthcare, life insurance, long-term care insurance, etc. This was particularly appropriate way to spend the evening… with the moon in Scorpio!
We’ve already hired an attorney and had a couple of meetings. We’re going to our medical doctor next week to check a couple things. It’s not that easy to pull all this together, or at least it’s time-consuming. But we’ve heard a lot of stories during this process and really come to understand how important it is to have your things wrapped up if you care to spare your loved ones.
For example, there was the family who had their father die. He had a small farm. Some man came out of nowhere, to make a claim against the estate. He said he had worked for the farmer; he had an itemized list of his dates of service that showed he was owed, 80K. No one had ever seen the man in their life.
The judge took a look at the list and told the family, unless someone could prove he was a liar, she would award him the money. Ultimately, that’s exactly what happened.
In another situation, a man had three children. One of his daughters was an attorney; yet he refused to state what he wanted, should be become incapacitated. “You three figure it out,” he said. This is a terrible situation to put your kids in.
My husband and I are in the middle of this; we’re about half-done. We’re working with a fraternal organization that will come to your house when someone dies and help your spouse or your kids file everything. We heard from someone on the front line, how the get to someone’s house and no one has any idea where everything (or anything) is. A lot of people are pack-rats, yes? Your grieving family has no clue where to begin.
We’re no working on a “document locator”. It’s three pages long and covers everything. We’ve already paid for our space in a Columbarium. My husband wants his ashes to be put in an M60 shell casing if possible. Fine, but we have to make sure it will fit the space! Personally, I have Libra so I best get something with flowers on it – yes?
Did you know that while Catholics can he cremated, it has to be just the body that is cremated. You’re not to mix the ashes with wood ashes or cardboard or whatever. And this is interesting…
When a body is cremated without a casket, the remains are about as big as a man’s fist. So when they give you a big bag of ashes, it’s mostly other materials.
I’m going into this in this way so that a person might think about this, deeply, and act on it at some point. Because if you can avoid leaving your kids or your spouse a mess when you die, you really should. It’s a thoughtful, loving thing to do.
Have you put any effort into this type of planning?
I need to have major surgery, probably this spring or summer, so yes, this has been on my mind and a I have started asking some questions.
Just imagine someone walking into your house and having to deal with it. Especially if you live a good distance from your kids or your heirs. They fly in and then what?
That’s absolutely true. I just imagined all the grief at having to find and sort through and decide things in my absence. In turn, this made me think that we’re all going to die someday so it needs to happen anyway.
It’s been a strange (but purposeful and thankful) year of incidences leading up to this. And it’s only March.
I was actually dealing with this yesterday, but in a different way. My brothers are the executors of his estate and one brothers friend is his lawyer, while Dad has been in the hospital they sent him an updated version of the will, I’ll be honest I found it on his iPad and read it, I found very shady wording that did not sound like my dad at all, it looks like my brothers were trying to pull a fast one last week when things weren’t looking good, but Dad pulled through and I mentioned it to him last night and showed it to him, was honest that I looked at it and instead of being angry for me going through his iPad he was just shocked and said he’d have his friend who is an attorney look at it when he gets out of the hospital, the good thing was he refused to sign it last week when my brother was telling him to. This kind of stuff can get messy unfortunately, but not always.
Yes. I have no ownership or capital. My funeral is in detail regulaterd. Wishes for burial are located in a drawer and in the safe at the undertaker. I have a comprehensive insurance. And some precious belongings are for some friends. That is written down.
I have no close family, since my dear cousin died in may last year. But I have very good and dear friends
Pluto is in my chart in house 12, in Leo. It is triangle Mars. My sun is in house 12 in Virgo, sextile Saturn in Scorpio. Mercury in Virgo, also house 12 and also sextile Saturn. Gemini on Midheaven. Mars is in Capricorn in house 4 and Aries is on the cusp of house 8.
Not precious belongings… I mean treasured possessions. (Language!!! 🙂 ) And: Saturn is sextile Mars in my chart. Heriosm.
Heroism (I better stop writing!) 🙂
I mean heroism (for myself) some mockingly. 🙂
After my mom passed, my 2 sisters and 2 brothers and my dad and I had a group hug. My dad said he wants the same thing (funeral) that we did for mom. He said ” and no fighting over the stuff left behind”. Between sobs my sister turned to me and said-How will he know? We then burst out laughing. It was actually a wonderful group hug we had never done before as a family.
If you have animals you can get their continued care in writing. Some animal rescue groups will make sure your animal has a good home if you haven’t specified someone. And you can leave some funds for their care in a trust if you wish.
This is great advice. I have closed down the Estates of many clients over the years and the family can be left with such a mess. My own affairs are easy so I did all my paperwork through Nolo press, online. Its cost me around $100. I’ve left lists in the computer of what will need to be done, in what order and where things are. I’ve registered my medical instructions with my doctors too. I don’t think my kids have any idea what stress I’ve saved them!
This stresses me out but i know it’s something i need to think about. Where my son would go, specifically. (Did everyone see Manchester by the Sea?) I need to get some stuff finalized at the courthouse, with custody. Maybe i should consult an attorney. Even when that is handled, i dont have anyone i trust to take him. It would probably just end up being my mother, which is not ideal.
Yes – I have a folder called DEAD with account numbers, my obituary, how to tell FCC I’m dead etc. Tried to pre-plan funeral but didn’t get anywhere. Need to get a will though.
“The judge took a look at the list and told the family, unless someone could prove he was a liar, she would award him the money. Ultimately, that’s exactly what happened.”
The Statute of Frauds would bar all such claims that are more than one year old. In addition, as an attorney and litigator, I would bet that one thorough deposition of this guy would have destroyed his case.
Get a competent and experienced business lawyer to do this kind of work for you, and an estates and trusts attorney expert in your State laws for all your documents, including wills, trusts, powers of attorney, etc. That’s what I did, and I am a business lawyer.
In addition: Make sure your attorney has a duplicate original of all your key documents, and have another set of copies with a close relative or friend who is trustworthy, perhaps your trustee if you have a trust.
She did mention the “wait a year” deal…
Yes, I did it and it is still a part of my bereavement process even after 5 years. You see when my husband was diagnosed with Stage 4 esophageal cancer and given 2 years to live, after all the crying, screaming and emotions passed he said to me “C’mon Baby we’re gonna go buy our final resting place.” So off I went carrying all the knife wounds in my heart but with a supportive smile on my face.
He wanted a mausoleum inside in his own space in the beautiful marble wall (Italian Marble – don’t you know) and I wanted one low down where anyone could sit on the bench and look comfortably straight ahead. ( my Venus in Cancer in the 4th) He joked and said to the Coordinator who was facilitating everything “Yep, that’s typical typical Valerie, she always gets Orchestra Seats.” We all laughed and for 4 thousand dollars more we got a quad on the floor level (because as he said “you never know about these marriages – in case the kids need a spot I got them”.
After that, we were on a roll with Will, securing assets with a trust agreement, Power of Attorney and all medical decisions in my hands. It was the right thing to do he’s a Capricorn and I’m a Virgo no problem ever making decisions.
The Doctors were right almost to the day concerning his passing one week shy of two years. After 4 operations, radiation, 2 rounds of chemo
( too weak to do the 3rd) he died in my arms in our house in the living room ( his favorite place).
I was holding his face and it was wet with our tears and sweat and I told him not to be afraid, it’s ok to go and that I loved him. I actually felt his Soul leave his body and the emptiness that followed. It was a supernatural experience and rightly so as we both are people of faith.
My daughters were too emotional to have handled the arrangements so Yes! it is a very good thing to preplan as much as you can.
We were married for 35 years.
I miss him still.
I finally got around to getting a revocable trust last year. I already had a will but in New York, a will that goes to probate court can take years to settle and all the while an attorney is charging fees to take papers down to court. It’s a nightmare.
The trust avoids probate. The trustees pay the taxes and distribute the assets. Simple. It cost me $9000 to have the thing set up but it probably will save my heirs a cool million or more.
Still don’t have a durable power of attorney. I can’t stomach the idea of someone taking over control of my brokerage accounts and messing with them. Also, I think I am unable psychologically to admit that I might lose my marbles one day or be so incapacitated that I would need one. Delusional, I know to think this way.
I did the revocable trust to avoid probate too. I’ve also made it so that if I loose my marbles my daughters don’t have make the decision that I’ve done so. That decision goes to a friend of mine or her son who is an attorney. I thought it was too hard a task to give my kids.
One thing most knowledgeable attorneys agree on–never make a will or trust in the State of New York…Most make them in neighboring States that don’t rob the beneficiaries.
I better get a crackin!!!!!!!! I got a hot mess over here. My husband would be a blubbering MESS and my kids would be lost. I need to be better organized. And by organized I mean….this stuff needs to be in writing.
What to do if you don’t have anyone to follow up on any of it? How to arrange that? Does the State take care of them? If you have a DNR will the doctors respect it? Will there be anyone to fight for them?
I thing it is so awesome Elsa that you and your husband are taking care of this now…peace of mind for everyone involved and left behind. It certainly can leave a mess behind if it’s not legally taken care of in advance. And when grieving, no one wants to deal with ramifications.
In this state they have forms that list conditions… and then various things you can do without.
For example, if you are in the end stages of cancer and you have some heart thing, do you want them to go in and place a stent?
Or if you no longer recognize anyone around you or know where you are… do you want chemo?
You name a person who is going to oversee this for you. The medical community will honor your wishes…
This is a excellent idea Elsa. We don’t have this in The Netherlands. Not like this. I’ll make this negotiable with my friends and see what they think about this.
The law on euthanasia is imminant in our country, there is much debat about it.
That is good to know Elsa. I have many friends who will want this information to create something that will lay this out. Thank you!
I think not thing : /
I help people process their stuff (I’m a pro organiser/declutterer) and I am currently working with a family to process all the stuff after a death. Luckily I sorted a lot of the paperwork before the person died. It’s funny – I have my ascendant in libra – I used to be a publishing, art and party girl. Now my progressed ascendant is in Scorpio and progressed moon in 8th house – I’m dealing with death, rubbish, and preparing for death – who would have thought it?!
AMEN! That you are trying to take care of your end of life planning. My father in law left his estate a mess and had no interest in preparing for any type of future. His last way of causing trouble was to run up a hell of a lot of debt and not put a dollar towards anything should he pass away.
Our friend is a funeral director and he does pre-need arrangements. Meaning you can go in and make your arrangements and pay in on your funeral as you would any other bill. You can pay whatever you can afford and the money grows interest and when your time comes your wishes will be taken care of.
At this time, I am working on getting my Mother’s funeral arrangements taken care of. The nursing home where she is has sent money to our friend and I have to make the arrangements as to what she wants done. But that takes a LOAD off a person’s mind.
People take this stuff for granted and think there is always going to be tomorrow to do it. What happens when you die before tomorrow gets here? Who will be able to take care of things?
We had two family deaths in two days of each other in February and we are still trying to deal with the crisis of what was left behind.
I have put my property in a trust with my youngest the executor of my estate .
My Mother had everything in order 10 years before her passing and it was one of the greatest gifts to be given. (thank you Mom!!) I, too, plan on doing this for my son as I don’t want to leave any burden on him.
Synchronicity is such an amazing thing!
I am currently going through a nightmare of trying to deal with all the details surrounding my father`s death on the 6th…And here I come, only to see this post! My dad, God rest his soul, was never the organized and responsible kind when it came to these things (real estate, official paperwork, wills)… I`ve been arguing with him for years about his unwillingness to do the necessary things, and now, as expected, I am left to deal with a major mess. I don`t have any idea where anything is, no papers, nothing – and not because I didn`t ask… And I can`t even get my step-brother (from my dad`s first marriage) to show up so we can deal with the institutions within the required deadlines. I guess we all know where he got that irresponsible, infantile streak from. I would have been SOOOO grateful if things had been arranged peacefully, in advance, by my parent – instead of having to rummage through documents and have people think I am this evil heartless witch who is thinking about documents and institutions instead of “properly” mourning her father…It is so much easier in the long run when you face responsibility and problems when they arise, instead of burying your head in the ground and hoping they disappear. Or someone else deals with them.
Been through something similar in my 20’s. Awful. 🙁
Hang in there. It’s definitely them, not you!
My sincere condolences ((((witch))))❤️?
What happens in these situations is that the responsible people in the family (in our case, my brother and I) get stuck with all the dirty work and getting the mess tidied up, while the rest criticize and do nothing. It caused a permanent breach between me and one of my other worthless brothers and his idiot wife, which is sad.
(((witch))) that is terrible. My heart goes out to you. Please make time for yourself somewhere-I know how crazy this must feel. I hope people don’t judge you for what you must do, and if they do, I hope you don’t let it add to your stress. They are not you and have no persepctive or empathy if that’s what they are doing. I am sorry you have to do this all alone. We all are here for you the best we can be. I hope things get easier as time goes by.