As many of you know, I’ve been absent the past 2 weeks due to a death in my family. My mother passed away unexpectedly after an accident on the farm where she volunteered. It was tragic and sad, and there is still much to deal with. I’ve been debating what, if anything I should say on here regarding what has been going on in my life. In the end I have decided to share a short list of the things I have learned thus far (in no particular order).
1. There isn’t always time later.
2. You can’t please everyone, nor should you try.
3. Make your wishes known before you die. Write them down, share them with loved ones.
4. Have a will. It can be as simple as leaving one person you trust in charge of dispensing your assets, but have a legal, notarized document.
5. Even if you don’t have a lot of assets, create and fund a trust (I now know what this means).
6. Destroy documents that are past record retention requirements – no one needs to go through medical records from the 1980’s, even if you sustained a major injury.
7. Keep a list of your accounts, user names and passwords locked up in a safe. It is so much easier if your loved ones can access all your information and knows what accounts should be closed.
8. Password protect your phone and computer – but make sure at least one other person knows how to get into your devices.
9. Keep current statements for all of your accounts so your loved ones know how much money you have, where it is and what you owe.
10. List a Payable on Death person for each of your bank accounts. This gives your loved one instant access to your money to help pay outstanding debts.
11. It is not enough to name an executor. You have to give this person the information they will need to handle everything when you are gone.
There’s more…much more…but this is enough for now. Death is a part of life. It is difficult enough to deal with your emotions when a loved one passes. Dealing with the seemingly endless details on top of that is almost unbearable. Over the next several months I will be getting all of my information together. How about you?