Prepping for Death

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#1 Sun, Oct 21, 2012 - 7:15pm
Joined: Feb 7, 2012

Prepping for Death

While most of us are busy prepping for those events which MIGHT happen, how many are actually prepared for the one event in our lives which WILL happen?

It is one of those things which are all to often left for those we leave behind, but it will not be easy on them. Anything we can do now to reduce the confusion and angst following this inevitable event will be most welcome.

For starters, here is the usual Prepper checklist:

  1. Do you have a living will?

This tells those who have to make a life/death decision how you feel about pulling the plug when you cannot. Leaves no doubt in their minds and is highly recommended.

  1. Do you have a legal last will and testament?

This must be done according to the laws of your state or else it is not worth spit and anyone could successfully challenge the terms.

  1. Have you made advance arrangements with a Funeral home?

You can purchase a funeral package in advance much cheaper and leave nothing to emotion. It is almost like a CD.

  1. Have you made a Living Trust for your estate?

Anything placed in this trust is not subject to probate court proceedings on your estate. For Medicare, this must be done at least 5 years in advance, else they will be able to put a lien on your estate for funds (like nursing home care) which were expended while you were alive.

  1. Do you have a method providing your “secrets” to your heirs?

What about all your Internet passwords, bank accounts, “boating accident” locations, etc. how would this information be made available in a safe and secure way for those who need it?

How would you keep it up to date?

I am NOT a lawyer, but have helped some of my loved ones prepare accordingly.

When the time came, it was much easier for all of us left behind and gave us much more time and energy for a proper grieving.

Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality.

Emily Dickinson

Edited by: WhyMeLord on Nov 8, 2014 - 5:05am
Tue, Oct 23, 2012 - 10:58pm
Dr G
Joined: Jun 14, 2011

Wonderful post and I agree

Wonderful post and I agree with nearly everything you said here. All very important items.

Only point of disagreement is the living trust. Many folks simply do not need one. If you have a proper will, probate court isn't an issue for 99% of the folks.

Tue, Oct 30, 2012 - 10:00pm Dr G
Joined: Feb 7, 2012

Thanks for your comment. But

Thanks for your comment. But it only applies if 99% of the folks have a living married partner or some degree of "joint tenancy". I would bet that there are more than a few who do not meet these requirements.

I have presonally been invovled with several estate cases. In one, where the real estate wsa in a living trust and did not enter Probate, the estate furnishings did and were subject to the creditors (ie Medicare). In another, the owner died intestate and the loving, handicapped, unmarried partner of 25 years got nothing, while the profiligate druggie son recieved everything (a $150K condo and the partner now lives in public housing - a true case of Blind Justice). These both occurred in Vermont. the laws in your state may vary.

As far as I'm concerned, a legal will and a living trust are probabaly two of the most important things a person can do in their lifetime.

There are many if ands or buts regarding Probate:

From the Wiki article:

In any jurisdictions in the U.S. that recognize a married couple's property as tenancy by the entireties, if a person dies intestate (owning property without a will), the portion of his/her estate so titled passes to a surviving spouse without a probate.

If the estate is not automatically devised to the surviving spouse in this manner or through a joint tenancy, and is not held within a trust, it is necessary to "probate the estate", whether or not the decedent had a valid will. A court having jurisdiction of the decedent's estate (a probate court) supervises probate, to administer the disposition of the decedent's property according to the law of the jurisdiction and the decedent's intent as manifested in his testamentary instrument. Dispose of certain estate assets requires selling illiquid assets, including real estate. There are exceptions for smaller estates.[citation needed] If the decedent died without a will, known as intestacy, the estate is distributed according to the laws of the state where the decedent resided, or as held by the court. If the decedent died with a will, the will usually names an executor (personal representative), who carries out the instructions laid out in the will. The executor marshals the decedent's assets. If there is no will, or if the will does not name an executor, the probate court can appoint one. Traditionally, the representative of an intestate estate is called an administrator. If the decedent died with a will, but only a copy of the will can be located, many states allow the copy to be probated, subject to the rebuttable presumption that the testator destroyed the will before death.

In some cases, where the person named as executor cannot administer the probate, or wishes to have someone else do so, another person is named administrator. An executor or an administrator may receive compensation for his service.

The probate court may require that the executor provide a fidelity bond, an insurance policy in favor of the estate to protect against possible abuse by the executor.[12]

The representative of a testate estate who is someone other than the executor named in the will is an administrator with the will annexed, or administrator c.t.a. (from the Latin cum testamento annexo.) The generic term for executors or administrators is personal representative.

Sat, Nov 24, 2012 - 9:49pm
Mr. Fix
Joined: Jun 8, 2012

Mr. Fix on death:

Personally, I am not interested in life insurance. I do not want to be worth more dead then I am alive. Besides that, I would prefer that my death be a real tragedy.

"When the student is ready, the teacher will appear."