Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Make Things Easier For Those Left Behind When You Die

My dad was very thoughtful and considerate of others, especially me. Here is a list of things he did after my mom died that made things a bit easier for me after he died that may be something you should think about doing too if you have family members you can trust:

1. Put my name on the house too using a survivorship deed.

2. Titled his car in both our names.

3. Added my name to his bank accounts--both savings and checking.

4. Kept important papers in file cabinet and let me help name the files.

5. With a marker, he put the year the furnace and water heaters were installed.

6. On his calendars, he would mark the days he made repairs and carried them forward from one year to the next.

7. He told me where he hid his money that he had in the house.

8. He preplanned and prepaid for most of his funeral expenses, including the casket, the grave marker, the vault and opening the grave. I was with him when he did this.

9, He gave me a key to his house.

10. He gave me his will as executor.

11. He saved an advertisement for me that he had in the dining room for a company that buys houses cheap "as is" and then takes care of cleaning them out and resells it. (I did call, but they never responded promptly so I gave up on them and cleaned everything out myself.)

My dad and I were very close and I would never think of stealing from him or cheating him in any way so he was able to do these things.


Margaret said...

My mom has done some of these same things -- she no longer owns a house, but has made a list of who gets what from her apartment, has her funeral and cremation paid for and has just made things all neat and tidy for us when she passes. Of course I'm holding out for a few more years with her.


Jen said...

My parents have dome some of those things as well! Something I've requested to my Mom is to write down things that have been passed down generation to generation. She has bought so many older things at garage sales I don't want to get rid of something that used to be my great great grandparents.

hparis said...

You're very fortunate. When my husband died, it was anybody's guess what he had or where to find it. First I had to rush to the hospital before his adult kids got there to make sure I let the doctors know he wanted DNR, then I had to fight with his mother to get him cremated. To add insult to injury, I couldn't find any lick of evidence of the life insurance policy he claimed he had. A few weeks later it turned up, only to find out it was only payable on accidental death, not illness - so it wasn't worth a hoot! The best part was his son, who wanted nothing to do with his dad in life, trying to claim what few possessions my husband had. I can go on and on about this.

So yes, even something as unofficial as a letter stating where you keep your important stuff, or who you want to get what, or if you want to be cremated so your wife doesn't have to fight with your mother in the hospital emergency room is helpful.

maiylah said...

Very touching entries. You're so blessed to have such a great Dad!

Karen Zemek, author of "My Funny Dad, Harry" said...

These are all great comments, thank you! I know I was very fortunate to have such a wonderful dad. That's one reason why I support Boys Town, Children Interantional and Covenant House because all three assist kids who don't have such great home conditions as I did. I'll be writing posts regarding each in the future.

You all give some good advice too!

"My Funny Dad, Harry" Book Giveaway

Congratulations to all the winners of the giveaway for "My Funny Dad, Harry" at Red Pine Mountain. I am so happy that four of my regular commenters won! Read what Tim thought of it at Everyday Living.