Saturday, July 3, 2010

The End of A Lifetime

Over the past few months I have been consumed by the death of my Uncle and care of my Aunt. I have a dozen Posting to write and a slue of thoughts swimming in my head. I want to express my feelings, yet,I must be respectful and careful on those I tread upon. Many lives have been affected. Many secrets unleashed.

One of the task at hand, settling affairs and handling of the estate.

This is a huge task.

This isn't always handled properly.

I think that most families, particularly families that are not ... close, have many "chiefs" that have their own idea of what is best.

There is also the problem of "no will", or at least, "no will that will see the light of day and hidden from family so that things will be done the way a "chief" wants them done".

I am not saying this was done in my family.... I am just saying it can & does happen in some families.

My head is spinning, my heart is breaking. I have seen a side to people I never knew existed.

So, for the record... if I die, maybe you can witness this, if my will is not found.

How I want my Estate to be handled:
  • My spouse, if alive, and has his faculties, makes the choices first. What he says goes. If I really wanted you to have something, he will know, or he will make it happen. If he questions it, move on.
  • Second in line, who should have that opportunity to go through my things, and have closure, my daughters. Both of them, together, at the same time. If they do not get along, they need to get over it. At least while getting my affairs together. Their husbands & children need to stay out of it too. Let Emily & Annie make decisions. Without the influence of others.
  • Third in line, my Sister. Not my Sister In Laws, not my Brother In Laws. My Sister~ Julie. She has an extremely good head on her shoulders & she is the person that can make the good decisions and get things to move forward.
  • My parents would be next. But, if they would outlive me, I am sure they would be very emotional and want to keep my trash. Don't let them. help them to get their closure and get out.
  • Nieces, nephews, cousin, In Laws, friend of families, the Fix It Man, everyone else, don't even think about it! The above people will let you know if they have something I wanted you to have, or something they thought you would want. Otherwise, you can have first run at the stuff that will be sold or given away. It is not a free for all. If there is an Estate Sale or such, there is a reason. Money may be needed for care of spouse, or divided up for my daughters.

Estate sales are not only taxing and tiring, they are emotional. It's hard to part with "stuff". It's hard to give something away at a fraction of it's value. Tens of thousands of dollars worth of stuff, evaporating into pennies. Stuff that is dated does not go for top dollar unless it goes into the vintage - antique category. That really cool lamp made with marbles, or the very expensive sleeper-sofa that weighs a ton is junk now. Just because you love it doesn't mean a buyer will.

Feelings will be hurt. And skeletons will come out. It's an end of a lifetime. Do your family a favor and have things prepared.

Now, I must get that will updated! You never know!

3 comments:

A human kind of human said...

Hi Janis, this is such a timely post. We are currently updating our Last Will and Testament and we have decided to make it as simple and straightforward as possible and still it is a tricky business.

Mark Pressley said...

Janis,

Death brings out the worst in people my family has been hit hard for the last five years and I have seen some pretty nasty behavior out of people that I never expected such petty reactions to stuff and pennies.

When dealing with your will pay a good attorney and be very specific to what you want, we went one step further and said if someone contests our will then they are automatically eliminated from receiving anything.

Amazing, that a person who the family loves passes and the people around them splits apart.

Breathe and let the dumb stuff pass.

Bridgette said...

Love ya! I am sorry you are having to go through all this. I hope things get better for you SOON!