Putting Financial Affairs in Order
Part of facing that I have a terminal illness involves putting my financial affairs in order. I don’t want to leave my husband and adult children with the burden of having to sort out financial problems when I pass away.
They will have too much to deal with as it is
Part of my resolve comes from helping sort out my father-in-law’s financial affairs when he became incapacitated a year ago. He has since passed away. It has been a very difficult process. My husband and I drove down to visit him seven months ago while he was in the hospital. It became evident he could not handle his financial affairs.
We rented an SUV for the trip because we knew we’d be bringing home all his paperwork to sort out and go through. It has been a rough seven months. Things were in disarray, to say the least. Taxes had not been filed, important paperwork was missing, bills not paid, and we had great difficulty accessing his funds. This caused significant problems that took many months to unravel.
I learned a lot from being on the receiving end of his financial affairs not being in order, and don’t want my husband or adult children to go through it.
Here’s what we’ve done:
- Updated our will and trust, and let our children know where the original and copies are;
- Signed my power of attorney for financial and healthcare decisions;
- Visited our bank and made sure my husband is on all our accounts;
- Created a bank account that our children can access in an emergency;
- Created a document with all our emergency information, location of safe deposit box and keys, passwords to our computers and contact information for our attorney;
- Made sure my beneficiary forms are up-to-date for my life insurance and IRA.
It isn’t easy to face I have a terminal illness
It’s normal to want to put preparations for this reality on the back burner. I’m willing to face this truth, and put my financial affairs in order, so that my husband and children don’t have to wade through a financial mess after I pass away.
I feel relieved and happy to know that taking care of my financial business is a way of loving my family. I’d love to hear from you and find out what you’ve done to put your finances in order. Please share in the comments below. We’re in this together, and have so much to learn from one another.
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