What do I need to know to prepare for my parents (hopefully far in the future) death? What should they have ready? What about to make my or my partner's death/incapacitaton easier on the other? Snowflake details inside.
posted by needlegrrl to human relations (20 answers total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
My grandfather died a couple of years ago, and my grandmother hasn't been the same since (well, of course not!). However, that, in addition to some other happenings lately have made me think that being prepared would be a good thing.
My dad is mostly taking care of my grandmother - I know she has a will, but do not know if she has a living will. I think he has a handle on her accounts, although it would be ideal to have a more organized list, and I can likely help with that. She does have a grave plot, and I assume my dad knows her burial/funeral preferences. He and my uncle will likely take care of anything related to this, but I would like to be available to help. I do help with current organization, so helping to organize lists of stuff, etc, would not be out of place.
My mom is not very good at finances or organization, and likely has no will/living will, etc. I do have access to her banking accounts, and am listed as the payable on death person. I've asked her what her burial/funeral preferences are, and do not believe she has life insurance. She does not own a house, and just has a car.
I am my dad's only child, and I doubt he has anything in place. (will, living will, etc) I know there is a family plot for him, but do not know if he wishes to be buried there. He owns a car and house.
I have a computer program that does up living wills, wills, etc - but I am not sure of their legality in Georgia. I know they would have to be signed and notarized, at the very least.
My husband and I have some life insurance, just in case, but that's about the extent of it. We have one joint banking account, and otherwise keep our finances separate. We have two cars, but do not own a house, in the way of assets. Oh - no kids, and we do not plan to have any. We do have pets, and some nieces and nephews.
I have seen the question about a living will vs living trust, but since it's just us, and no kids, I don't think it's relevant. No one in my family has a ton of assets.
So, my questions -
What do I need to worry about in regards to my mom and dad? (They are divorced.) I will be the only one taking care of them. Obviously, I should make sure they have a will and a living will, and I should know what their burial/funeral preferences are.
How much money should I make sure is on hand to take care of their funeral stuff (particularly in the case of my mom - my dad has savings, and that shouldn't be an issue). How does that process work? I imagine you have to pay up front, and then get the life insurance, etc, money afterward to be reimbursed.
Should you pre-pay for a burial plot?
Lifehacker (I think) posted a master information kit, which I plan on filling out for my mom, and trying to get my dad to work on it. I also plan on working on it for myself & my husband. (This is a google doc that includes a bunch of information, including lists of accounts, insurance polices, assets, etc).
I feel like this is all a bit morbid, but I don't want to have to worry about a million little things that I "should have done" if/when these things happen. I know my grandfather didn't expect to go when he did, and I feel like there were things he didn't tell us that he wanted to - I don't want that feeling with other people, if possible. Should I go before my husband, I want it to be as easy as possible for him to access everything.