Page 3 of 3 FirstFirst 123
Results 21 to 29 of 29

Thread: End of the line

  1. #21
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Saint Paul, Minnesota
    Posts
    4,804
    Quote Originally Posted by Lainey View Post
    I can't help but wonder if there's a willful refusal to believe what it would take to clean up their affairs, or they honestly don't know.
    I don't know about that...

    On my mom's part, she was a child of The Depression; she never grew up with a lot of material things. And, for a number of reasons, she left home as soon as she possibly could with little more than the clothes on her back. For her, I think, having nice things marked a kind of victory over her upbringing, and getting rid of items solely because they didn't physically fit in her new living place(s) has happened reluctantly at best. Her childhood also (I think) made her put emphasis on giving people things. So there's as much in her house as she can crowd in and she's not motivated to declutter or minimalize beyond what her kids guilt her into doing.

    There also is, for her, some of the unfamiliarity that people now in their mid-80s have with the on-line world. She's got folders of stuff for whatever she does because electronic records are not preferable. So there's a volume of stuff that has to be managed and stored for her SS, pension, charge accounts, etc., and it will be harder (for me) to go through all that paper than to look at those records electronically. The best I can hope for is that she purges the paper that has no bearing on starting or ending those obligations.


    Then there's me. I'm as much on-line with everything as I can be. Everything is backed up, almost always more than once. DW has access to my computer and to the password manager that gets her to all of our bank accounts, retirement funds, charge cards, etc. DW lived on her own for 20 years, so she's no stranger to running her own financial life, but she is not up-to-the-minute on our finances or all of the folders in my desk, partially because it's not an area of great interest and because she does not feel the need to be up-to-the-minute is imminent.

    DW has been after me for a while to put the very basic stuff down on paper that she'll stuff in our safe-deposit box. For her, I'll do it. I have a handy-dandy form (that I downloaded from the Internet and -- gasp -- printed out) but I haven't filled it out because there's always something more pressing to do on any given day. It's not even procrastination, really; it's just suffering from insufficient priority and I sometimes hope nothing sudden happens to push it to the forefront when I can't do much about it.

    It's also been several years since we reviewed our wills (as discussed in the Trusts thread). Yes, we should do it. But the logistics of it (both of us together, when the attorney is available, reviewing, etc.) make it so easy to push off the task till next week/month/whenever.

    So IMHO it's not always refusal in the sense of being obstinate or in being clueless about it. For more than just our parents/grandparents, it's sometimes something we don't want to do for reasons we'd rather not address or it's lost in the hubbub of daily life, nevermind the effects of MYOB or dementia.
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

  2. #22
    Senior Member Simplemind's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    861
    As far as material property goes, both of my parents grew up dirt poor. I know their "sparklies" meant a lot to them. There was great pride in starting from nothing and making a great life. I would have loved less stuff and more time and caring from them but they were imperfect people (as we all are) and we got what we got. Although their home was definitely and extension of them and what was important to them, it wasn't to us at all. They were almost insulted that we were not interested in any of it. I truly believe they would have been happy if we had huge fights over who got what. My dad in particular always wanted to be the guy that everybody envied and wanted what he had. If you didn't..... well something was wrong with YOU.

  3. #23
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Nevada
    Posts
    4,618
    Fortunately my Mom thought ahead and when she was 62 asked me to help her start cleaning out the house and having garage sales. We worked on this for about 2 years. Then when downsized her and my DAd who was very sick by then moved into an apartment. Once he died she got rid of his stuff and when she knew she was dying she got rid of a bunch more stuff so not that much to deal with when she died. She also prepaid her funeral, wrote her own obit, asked people to sing at her funeral and told them what songs to sing. She told us to sell her car and buy everyone lunch at a certain restaurant after the funeral which is what we did. She was born in 1920 and truly made things easy for us.

  4. #24
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    2,637
    Strange things are secrets in families. I found out my mother had been married 2X before my Dad yet they had all us kids thinking there was only the one marriage and they kept the secret for 61 years. Thank God she did not have any kids before my Dad although there was a 74 year old step brother in the mix.

  5. #25
    Senior Member Simplemind's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    861
    Bless your mom Teacher Terry. This process with my folks lit fire under me and we started downsizing ourselves right along with downsizing their property. Although we only had a fraction in comparison, we will never leave a mess like that for our kids. We also have all end of life information in a binder with instructions, account lists and passwords. We have sat down with them, discussed it, showed them where it is kept. We go over it once a year to make sure there aren't any changes to be made.

  6. #26
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Lansing Illinois
    Posts
    16
    Very sorry for your loss. I too am the one who takes care of my Dad. In our case, I took over his financial stuff when we learned of gambling losses. I was negotiating with his credit card companies and set up automatic payments. I'm a cpa so I was also doing his back taxes. I realized he was having trouble keeping up with it all. I offered to help and he just jumped at it. I felt a little bad that I hadn't offered sooner as he was so willing! But now he brags to people oh my accountant takes care of that! He paid off all 3 of his credit cards although it took 5 years. Now he has an 810 fico score! All he has is ss and his house. It is worth about $25000. Thank goodness he had the house. I love being able to help him but sometimes it would be nice to get more help. There's 8 kids but each time I try to get a hand it ends up being easier to do it myself! I'm so happy he is out of debt and has some savings now. Proud of him too for paying it all off. It has definitely made me think about my financial stuff. I am consolidating things and writing down passwords, account information etc to make it easier for my family when I go! We have an appointment to update our wills. We pre planned our funerals and the money is set aside. I did a major clean out this summer, but my husband won't let go of a lot. I'm 63 and hopefully not going anywhere soon,haha. But reading about everyone having to wade through family members accumulated stuff made me get serious this year. I know my Dad has mucho crap and when I visit we whittle away at it. I would like to get rid of all his clothes and start over. But that would hurt his feelings. So whittle away! Other than furniture and books, he doesn't have too much. His garage otoh will be a job!

  7. #27
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Saint Paul, Minnesota
    Posts
    4,804
    Quote Originally Posted by debbie View Post
    There's 8 kids but each time I try to get a hand it ends up being easier to do it myself!
    Been there, done that myself. But don't let 'perfect' be the enemy of 'good'.

    Doing it yourself does not teach any of your siblings how to do it. Like any other learned skill (walking, learning a new language, cooking, keeping records), there will be mistakes made along the way. So long as they're not fatal, they're great teaching tools.
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

  8. #28
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    143
    Quote Originally Posted by Simplemind View Post
    This process with my folks lit fire under me and we started downsizing ourselves right along with downsizing their property. Although we only had a fraction in comparison, we will never leave a mess like that for our kids. We also have all end of life information in a binder with instructions, account lists and passwords.
    Both my parents are now passed, my Dad this past October and my Mom in March 2015. To their credit, while Mom and Dad did make some efforts to get rid of larger stuff such as the camper and the old 2 ton printing press my dad bought to use in his retirement (and didn't), there's still so much. Partly because while they were getting rid of some stuff, they were still acquiring other stuff plus towards the end of their lives they didn't have the energy to deal with it. They both got too tired and ended up just holding on to everything. Their way of cleaning in preparation for guests was to move stuff to the attic or basement, so we found papers stuffed in IKEA bags (the kind you purchase) and brand new items (such as an ice cream maker never opened) on the basement floor.

    The whole process of cleaning out their stuff has accelerated my decluttering efforts even more and DH is finally going through his massive comic book collection, because he finally acknowledges he has too much plus if he wants to get any money out of it, now's the time. He actually has a buyer lined up. I have been the one in charge of paying bills so now am showing DH what to do after seeing my Dad struggle with paying bills after Mom passed. I am donating some music equipment to an organization dedicated to providing local elementary school students with musical instruments.

    Quote Originally Posted by sweetana3 View Post
    Strange things are secrets in families. I found out my mother had been married 2X before my Dad yet they had all us kids thinking there was only the one marriage and they kept the secret for 61 years. Thank God she did not have any kids before my Dad although there was a 74 year old step brother in the mix.
    One sister's MIL found out after her father's death that he was married before her mother, complete with another family in another part of the country. She had no inkling of this other family and she believes her mother didn't either. Another discovery: one of my BILs found out after his parents passed that he had a half-brother, his father's son from before his parents' marriage while dad was stationed overseas in WWII. What's also been interesting has been the varying responses to these discoveries: MIL actually connected with her half-siblings and has regularly visited them while my BIL would have nothing to do with the half-brother who contacted him and pretty much told him (the half brother) to get lost.

    I recently destroyed old letters, cards, etc. from old boyfriends. Hadn't looked at them in years but prompted me to do so was this article: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/c...10-column.html

  9. #29
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Lansing Illinois
    Posts
    16
    True, Steve. My brother has been helping recently which is great since he lives 2 blocks away from Dad while I live 2 hours away!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •