Anne and Bill are a wonderful example of parents being prepared. Both are in their mid-seventies, in relatively good health, have two children, several grandchildren, and are geographically remote from their family. They knew that if, or when, something happens to them, their children would have to journey to get there and assist. Wanting to make life easier for their kids, they decided to make sure their children understood their wishes.
This couple has been married 52 years, very hard working middle class, who saved a great deal of their money, invested it, and wanted their assets protected. When it came time to downsize their home to move into a smaller one, they de-cluttered their home, sold most of their belongings, and lived comfortably on what they needed. Anne no longer has a need for all the silver plate, china, etc. and preferred the space to the clutter.
They hired a financial advisor to assist them with decisions, an estate planning attorney to create a revocable trust, and told their children that everything is in writing and gave them each a copy. The trust clearly states who is the executor, and who is the health care power of attorney. Both children were clear on their part of the responsibility. It was very difficult for their children to listen to what their parents’ last wishes were. Yet, they knew they owed that to their parents.
Each child has a file containing all the vital information of their parents’ estate and guidelines within, even down to funeral arrangements, music to be played, and how many death certificates to order. This file remains in their file cabinets, hopefully for many years to come, but is easily accessible if (and when) the fateful phone call comes.
Do you see the ease with which the children have already been prepared, thanks to this wonderful set of parents? For parents to give this much thought into their own mortality cannot be easy from anyone’s perspective. Their actions toward their children were kind, generous, accepting, and loving. Their only wish was to ease their children’s burdens, when they were in the midst of grief, estate dissolution, selling the home, travel, etc.
These are two very fortunate children to have everything spelled out for them when a time of crisis occurs. I should know, as Anne and Bill are my parents! Thanks, Mom and Dad, for loving us that much!
© 2009 Julie Hall