anyone interested in doing a challenge to get our legal/financial house in order?

Over in Journals, I brought up the idea that it might be interesting to have a challenge where we get our house in order legally and financially. And by financially, I don't mean pay off debt, retirement, etc. I mean wills, power of attorneys, etc. All the stuff we need to have in place if we are incapacitated or for when we die.  farfromtheusual mentioned the book / website Get your Sh*t Together so something along that line.  Or if you are Dave Ramsey follower, a legacy box/drawer.  Anyone interested?

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  • Fuzzball Meows said:
    I'm finding the worse P gets the harder all this is to think about/deal with. 

     I can’t imagine how hard this all is when it’s no longer theoretical. Hugs. As for the passwords I say just make sure you have the critical ones (banks and investments and computer/tablet if locked). The rest are not as important. 

    Like
    • MXMOM Also email. Since that can be used to reset passwords I need but don't have. 

      Like 1
    • Fuzzball Meows MXMOM My husband and I had a "death year" a few years ago to take care of our planning needs. This is so important and I'm cheering you on!

      Just want to chime with a password suggestion: We opted to get a family plan to 1Password and we now have it installed on our mobile devices and computers. It's so nice not to have to think about missing passwords, to have clever passwords suggested to us, to have all passwords at our collective fingertips, and to be notified if there's a breach so we can change things if we need to. We add/update as we go now. Maybe that would be good peace of mind for you, too?

      Like 1
    • I'll add that while I love 1PW, and it is on my phone and computer AND I have a family plan, no one else uses it. They still ask me for passwords. I think I need to do a Password Tea Time in which I give a tour and make them try it while shoving tasty snacks in their collective mouths, hoping for a positive association to be made in their heads. 🙄

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      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Marisa I hear you on that.  I decided to go with Bitwarden after all the comparison. I sent my husband the invite for the 2 person program. I don’t believe he has accepted it yet. I changed our Dropbox subscription to a family plan because my mom and I share stuff on it and we were nowhere near the full storage limit so it seemed silly to pay for 2. The family program gives you 6 people so I told my son and his girlfriend about it and sent an invite. They haven’t accepted it.  I don’t think they even back up their phones.  All those photos will be lost. 

      Like
  • The iPhone Feature to Turn On Before You Die

    Starting with iOS 15.2, Apple includes a way to add Legacy Contacts to your iCloud account that will give friends or family access to most of your data after you pass away. Let’s look at how to pass iPhone data to loved ones, what’s included, what’s not, how the process works, and more.

    https://9to5mac.com/2021/12/13/pass-iphone-data-to-loved-ones-legacy-contacts/

    If you subscribe to Apple News, here is a link to the article in the Wall Street Journal.  Or if you subscribe to WSJ you can read about it there.

    https://apple.news/ATOYAopp3RB-KdHcPTsa5pA

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  • Aaarrggh! My post disappeared.  

    My update on where I am in the process. 

    We are deciding whether or not we need to consult with a lawyer for our wills. Technically our wills are fairly straightforward. I die, he gets everything. He dies, I get everything. But if we die at the same time things could get complicated.  The reason is that my hubby has a child from before we got married. It is a sore spot in our marriage so discussing this is difficult. Standard will language talks about a person’s issue (which is the legal term for children) but that includes ALL children. So we have to specifically name our boys in the will and/or specifically write that she is excluded. Icky.  

    I have done some research and in Ontario Canada (where I live), courts generally don’t change wills to include excluded children. Just for reference, in British Columbia, the opposite is true. 

    I have been considering leaving some small specified amount to her but then I don’t know if that leaves an open door to contest the amount. I think a better approach would be to set up a TFSA account for a small amount and name her as the beneficiary. That way it passes outside the will but he wasn’t a dick for not leaving her anything. 

    Here is an excerpt from this article.  

    Ontario law has an emphasis on testamentary freedom whereby testators can choose how they want to divide their estate.1 Attempts to set aside a will based on a moral obligation owed by parents to independent adult children have been consistently rejected by Ontario courts.2

    Like 1
  • This seems like the appropriate place to share this information.

    I really, super strongly recommend that you make the actual arrangements for what happens to your/your loved one's body before they die. Because right after they die, even if you premade the arrangements, you are going to need to sign legally binding documents. And the likelihood that you will be at your best is generally very small. If you made the arrangements before hand, you don't have to think about it so much and can just compare the new documents to the ones you sign when making the initial arrangement.

    Also, make sure you have all the information you need for the death certificate so you're not guessing. Where I am, that means the place of birth of the deceased's parents. Their birth/death certificate or marriage license is probably going to be useful for that information. 

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  • Fuzzball Meows said:
    (P is expected to still be alive as of 1/1/2022. Not sure he'll be conscious at that point, but alive is all the taxes care about, I think.)

     So many thoughts came to me when I read this. Happy that P is alive. Sad that he is alive but not well. Angry that you have to think about taxes at a time like this. Relieved that you’ve considered so many things. Thankful that your journey is inspiring others to get their house in order. Know that I am thinking about you and wishing there were something I could do to help you through this. 

    Like 2
    • MXMOM So. Um.

      P didn't make it to 2022. He passed away Monday morning. I'm really glad we got everything as set up as possible before then, because even with everything planned, there's a lot of details and logistics and legal stuff I'm having to take care of. 

      Like 1
      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • 4 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Fuzzball Meows so sorry to hear that. It’s been a long road. Thinking of you. DM me if there’s anything I can do. 

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      • Katcantoo
      • katcantoo
      • 4 wk ago
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      Fuzzball Meows oh, I’m so sorry to hear of P’s passing. My heart goes out to you. ❤️

      Like 1
    • Fuzzball Meows I’m sorry to hear this news. Know we’re thinking of you and I’m glad you have been getting the paperwork ready all this time so it will hopefully make it easier to navigate through and you can focus on yourself and your loss. Huge Internet hug!

      Like
    • Fuzzball Meows Hug. I'm sorry for your loss. I do hope you're able to visit people or stay with someone so you don't have to deal with the holidays so suddenly by yourself. 

      You've been such a wonderful reminder of how to care for someone over the past few months (and the emotions that come alongside that). I wish I could do something to provide you some comfort. 

      You have a beautiful life.  

      *Insert the right words* Hug.

      Like 1
      • SewPurple
      • PHP Dev with a fabric habit
      • sewpurple
      • 3 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Fuzzball Meows I'm so sorry for your loss 💜

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    • Fuzzball Meows more huge internet hugs from here. Not an active participant, but I'm reading and reading and my stuff has been updated, in part because of your experiences. 

      Like 1
  • Fuzzball Meows said:
    Where I am, that means the place of birth of the deceased's parents.

     What an odd piece of information to need.

    Like
  • MXMOM Katcantoo Yellow Pufferfish Move Light Sound Life SewPurple

    Thank you for your kind words and thoughts. And for your participation in this challenge which helped me get as prepared as I could.

    MXMOM The place of birth is an additional identifier - instead of using birthdate, for instance. So P is P, born in hometown, married to FuzzBallMeows (Meows) born in hometown, son of D born in hometown and M (B) born in hometown. (The parentheses are maiden names.) 

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  • So things I wish I'd done before P died, in terms of planning/getting things set up:

    1) Made arrangements for the funeral/memorial service. The location, the person running it, what they were going to say/do, whom to include, whom to *not* include, etc. Whose video thing to use, how to get people info for accessing it, etc.

    2) Made arrangements for the mourning period, so that we weren't sending out six dozen emails trying to get all the information to people, and confusing everyone in the process. 

    3) Made a list of people to inform and/or invite to the various different events. Included in the list who the contact for larger groups should be (e.g., my parents telling their siblings/extended family, P's best friends telling his friends, etc.). Created this list as a contact list in my email, so that I could send one email to everyone. 

    4) Made plans for where I'd stay afterward, and for someone to pick up my mail, etc. if I'm not staying at home (which I'm not). Apparently there is a flood of mail that comes in after someone dies. 

     

    There will probably be more stuff that comes up, but that's the big ones for now. I recommend doing #3 for yourself and leaving it with the will/other instructions with contact information for people, so that if you die unexpectedly, the person taking care of arrangements doesn't have to dig through all kinds of contacts for that. 

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  • Just popping in. The holidays derailed some of my plans. I did go with Bitwarden as it is free although it is a bit clunky. I am going to loop around and get back on track. The main thing is update the wills etc. 

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  • Here is a (Canadian) website with good information and a blog. Of course, they have a service to sell but I am not recommending that. Just a good resource. 

    https://www.clearestate.com/blog/estate-settlement-101

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  • This is from another (Canadian) site. This article is directed toward financial advisors but I found some good general information in it for non advisors. 

    https://www.estatebox.ca/post/estate-planning-tips-for-the-lgbtq-community

    Like
  • Update on the list: 

    Basically, I've talked a lot but not written a lot. On the upside, my mum has her will in order now, and my dad realises his is now out of date. Hasn't written a new one (*head desk*), but he has finally been clear about quality of life expectations, and ICU end of life scenarios. 

    • Write Advanced Care Directive (for the horribly complex discussions that families have to have if I'm not dead) Only half done. I've had the conversation with my sister, mum, and best mate. Mum and best mate are my executor and back up. 
    • Compile passwords, list of assets and debts, utilities and other daily things for access Complete
    • Double check insurances to make sure all are up to date and able to cover all expenses This took jolly ages, back and forth with insurance company through my superannuation (Aus equivalent of 401k). Now complete, Life Insurance, and Total and Permanent Disability Insurance. I have an existing Income Protection insurance, looking to increase this and put it also through super. Outside of super it remains a tax deductible expense. Not sure which is best at moment. 
    • Write directive for the two dogs. Again, had the conversation. I actually need to amend my will so that they are specifically covered in costs covered by my estate. 
    • Write wishes for funeral, organ donation (take all my useful bits, I won't need them). Had the conversation with mum, sister, and best mate. Now to make dot points for them. 
    • Letters to loved ones No, not yet. This is hard. 
    • Investigate funeral and grave costs to see if I can pay off ahead of time So, no can do pre-pay for funeral costs, (and the plans look like a rort), but I can pay off a grave ahead of time for about $500. Have put into budget. 

     

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  • I have determined that my scatterbrained way of thinking is going to be an issue for my executor etc. I have information in multiple places (file cabinet, Dropbox, YNAB) and in multiple formats (paper vs digital).

    I have decided to get one of those journals (or the page printouts and put in a binder) and create a paper one stop shop for everything. I have been reviewing some of the resources we have talked about in this challenge, specifically Get Your Sh*t Done (GYSD) and journals on Amazon. While the GYSD story resonate with me, I don't know if the checklists are the right fit for me. The basic one is too, well basic. And the comprehensive one covers a lot of stuff I am not looking to include.

    I am leaning toward a printable format vs. a bound format because I am sure that the information will change/expand over time and I like the ability to reprint and update rather than cross out. Also, I am envisioning printing out certain things straight from the source and including those as well as copies of physical documents, including some of the info from this challenge. So a basic binder with dividers as well as insert to store additional documents is the way to go (for me). 

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      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • 5 days ago
      • Reported - view

       correction - it’s Get Your Sh*t Together GYST

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  • Summary of estate planning challenge

    To refresh this challenge as well as summarize things, I am writing this post. This way people can see everything but not have to wade through all the posts. I will link to relevant posts if there is more detailed information that is useful. 

     

    To recap 

    Step 1 - get a notebook and brain dump everything you need to do to get your financial and legal affairs in order. Big or small. Don't worry about doing them yet. Just start the list so you have something tangible to work with.  Here's my list for an example.

    Here is a list by another person that did this process from a different perspective. At the time of the start of the challenge her partner (P) was diagnosed with terminal cancer and was given a short time to live. For her the process was critical and urgent. I recommend reading through her posts because she provides a lot of real life challenges. Unfortunately her husband passed away in December 2021. She made another list of "Things I wish I'd done before P died"

    Step 2 - pick something easy and doable in a day from your list. Then do it. Cross it off the list. Do it even if it creates more tasks on your list. For example maybe you have "locate wills" on your list. You know that once you find them you will have to review them and then update them etc. But for now, just do that one thing and cross it off.  For example, my first task of my list was to get a printout of all our prescriptions. 

    Step 3 - choose an executor. 

    Step 4 - make list of all accounts (retirement/savings/etc.) and insurance policies. List should include institution, account/policy number, contact info, current balance/policy amount, and beneficiary. For now just list who the beneficiaries should be or who you think they are or put a question mark.  We will confirm them in a later step. This can be a handwritten list in your workbook or a spreadsheet or word document. 

    Step 5 - get a bare minimum emergency fund goal funding goal set up and start building it. And if you have an emergency fund already, go through and make sure that it is the amount you need to get you through the crisis period.  If you don't have one because you are still paying off debt, I go through a long and convoluted (that's my style 🤪) explanation of why in this post  . If your answer is yes, that post also talks about how I determine the right amount of emergency fund to have considering that YNAB philosophy reduces the financial emergencies by funding True Expenses Rule 2 of the 4 Rules

     

    We didn't go any further than Step 5 (so far) but I am going to forge ahead once I have made sure I have completed Steps 1-5. 

    Resources

    Throughout the challenge post, there were a number of resources posted that I will summarize here with links.

    1. Checklists
      https://getyourshittogether.org/checklist/ 
      http://www.bdo.ca/BDO/media/Misc-Documents/NTL-Wealth-14Dec18-EstateOrganizer.pdf
      https://cdn.thewirecutter.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Master-Information-Kit-Wirecutter-Template.xlsx
       
    2. Articles and websites
      Your Digital Estate
      Get Your Sh*t Together website
      Get Your Sh*t Together - article about how this started
      Clark Howard information about group pricing for burial/cremation services
      Jesse chats with Chanel Reynolds, author of What Matters Most and founder of the Get Your Shit Together website, dedicated to helping people navigate the confusing, difficult, and emotional aspects of end-of-life planning.
       a good read on being an executor 
      What happens to airline points when you die
      Facebook info on what to do upon death of a user
      Unclaimed Property (USA specific) www.missingmoney.com
      The iPhone Feature to Turn On Before You Die
      https://www.clearestate.com/blog/estate-settlement-101
      https://www.estatebox.ca/post/estate-planning-tips-for-the-lgbtq-community
       
    3. This challenge post. 
      In addition to the specific items above, there is a lot of good discussion from various YNABers on specific things, their lists, personal experiences, my links to various articles of what happens when this stuff doesn't get done, etc.  So I recommend you scroll through and see if there is anything that I have left out that you may find useful and inspirational. 
    Like 3
    • MXMOM Before I delete the above (now duplicate) comment, I want to make sure I got the appending/editing/links right. Can you let me know:

      1. Does this post look how you want it at this point? 
      2. To clarify: this is the post you'd like pinned to the top of this thread, yeah? 

      Let me know and I'll get this all cleaned up and pinned 😊

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      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • 5 days ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Rachel thanks Rachel. Looks great! the duplicate can be deleted. And yes that is the post I would like pinned.  

      Like 1
    • MXMOM 

      Like
    • MXMOM  Thank you for all your hard work on this thread.  I am sure many have benefited from your persistence with this subject.  As I mentioned at the outset, we looked over many different formats for this and decided with the "Get It Together" system.  It works well for us and I think is easy to follow, even for someone not familiar with it.  We have our youngest daughter as our executor and she is familiar with what is in the program.  At the front of the information are all the people, institutions, etc. to contact for quick access.  Both my wife and I have funeral plans in place and paid for so all she has to do is call the funeral home and they will take it from there.  We have both decided on cremation and as soon as possible upon death so our family can get on with their lives and mourn in whatever fashion they choose.  We have arranged for our ashes to be spread at sea at sunset from a sailboat already designated and for the family to be on board for the final farewell.

      It takes a lot of work to put it all together and you have done magnificently helping others to see just how important it is to be as prepared as possible for an event that can happen at any time in one's life.  My wife and I have been extremely fortunate to have lived as long as we have and having four beautiful children and five beautiful grandchildren has been an additional blessing.

      Once again, thank you so much for your persistence, patience and outstanding information throughout this thread.

      Like 2
      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • 5 days ago
      • Reported - view

      JohnnyDiamond thanks. I had to read through all the posts to put together the summary and I enjoyed reading your post that said you’ve been married for 54 years.  I also re-read your comments on the GYST program.  

      Like
  • Update on Prince’s estate. Prince did not have a will and left a mess for others to deal with. It took 6 years. Don’t be a Prince. 

    https://nationalpost.com/entertainment/prince-died-without-a-will-and-it-took-six-years-to-sort-out-his-us156-million-estate

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    • MXMOM Oh dear. In a lot of ways, be like Prince. Not this one though....my goodness, what a mess.

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  • We have a Living Trust (and wills to move anything into the Trust that's not already there). We donated money to our favorite charities, and made sure our kids and grandkids will be taken care of.  Neither one of our kids is our executor - that's a trusted family friend we know won't be favoring one over the other. We also have durable power of attorney for each other because shit happens and we need to know the other person can take care of whatever needs done if one of us is in a coma. We recently bought a tree in Better Place Forests, for our ashes to be spread. The money goes to taking care of the forest and to planting more trees. I think we're pretty well covered. 

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      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • yesterday
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      • Reported - view

      Marisa annaraven I will have to check this out and see what is available where I live.  I like this idea. 

      Edited to add - I just found this information on the Lions Foundation Dog Guides site.

        Commemorate the life of a loved one by planting a tree - a living memorial that will grow and flourish over the years. A tree symbolizes strength, shelter and durability; it is a living tribute and a source of comfort. Lions Foundation's Memorial Forest is located in Breslau, Ontario, at the Dog Guide training and breeding centre. Each tree will be marked with the name of the deceased honouree. The family of the deceased will receive an "In Memoriam" card stating that a tree has been planted in memory of their loved one. Recognition will take place at an annual dedication ceremony on the 2nd Saturday of June.

      Order deadline is May 4 for the 2022 Dedication Service.
      Cost is $250.00

       

      I am currently fostering a future dog guide and this would tie in nicely.  We can't spread ashes there but there is a plaque and they plant a tree as well as funding the program.  

      Note to self - add this to my list

      Like 2
  • what happens to your student loans when you die? They’re GONE. At least the government ones are. This is true in Canada as well. 

    https://www.cnbc.com/2019/12/17/majority-of-borrowers-dont-know-how-death-affects-student-loans.html

    Like
  • Hi, all,

    First-time poster based in the U.S. I just happened to stumble on this post and I am SO grateful for this thread and all of you. I turn 40 this year and have procrastinated on getting my affairs in order because it's all so overwhelming. A dear friend's father passed unexpectedly last year without a will so I am seeing firsthand what not to do to my loved ones. I pulled out a black composition book I bought a while ago for $1 and am starting at step 1 brain-dumping my list as I type this. You all have inspired me so much. Thank you!

    Like 2
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