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#295652 - 04/06/20 07:29 PM Re: What Have We Learned? [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
haertig Offline

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 2269
Loc: Colorado
What I've learned: I am "prepped enough" to survive the coronavirus. But I am not prepped enough to not survive the cornovirus.

My wife and I both know how to take care of our household in the event the other dies. But in the case of my wife and I both dying, our children (or my sister or her brother) would have a hard time taking over our stuff, let alone take care of my mom who is currently on her own (forced lockdown) in a senior living facility.

Yes, we have a solid estate plan (trusts set up, wills, powers of xxx, etc.), but what we found lacking was consolidating all the important stuff our kids would need to know into one place. A "parents box" I'll call it. he way things were before this coronavirus, the kids would have been searching through file cabinets, in safe deposit boxes, on our computers, etc. to put all the details together. It is all pretty much documented, but not collected into one place. We are now busily consolidating everything into a "parents box" that I will probably paint bright red or something, so it will stick out as "the important box" if it gets mixed in with other boxes. We have sent out electronic copies of this stuff to the kids, but we found some of that was two years out of date. And can we trust the kids to be able to find the files we sent, and remember how to decrypt them?

So we are making a physical "one-stop-box" that has everything from estate plan, to bank account access details, to medication lists, to typical monthly bills and how they are paid, to insurances we have, to the strategies behind our investments, to lists of who to notify in case of our deaths, etc. Again, all this documentation exists already - just spread out. We came to the realization that we could massively help out our kids if they only had one single place to look.

#295661 - 04/07/20 12:16 PM Re: What Have We Learned? [Re: haertig]
NAro Offline

Registered: 03/15/01
Posts: 504
Absolutely terrific idea. Having been on the "surviving" end... there is no substitute for a good, clear, inventory and map.

#295666 - 04/07/20 07:38 PM Re: What Have We Learned? [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
LesSnyder Offline

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1652
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
I put together something like that as I anticipated an evacuation before hurricane Irma.. I'm single, retired, and have a simple will going to a relative...

will, living will and surrogate of health care declaration

NFA trust

car title

birth certificate, passport, copies of teaching certificate, and BA from UF

deed to house, and deed of sepulcher to funeral plots

combination to gun safe

credit union account number and PIN

5 signed checks for transition funds

latest quarterly statements from financial institutions, with brokers names and addresses affixed... spreadsheet of finances

historical wills for Mom and Dad to show ownership of house

directions for continuation of small scholarship in Dad's name to high school

documents are contained in a 50cal ammo can, in a grab and go location

#295667 - 04/07/20 07:58 PM Re: What Have We Learned? [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
haertig Offline

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 2269
Loc: Colorado
One thing we found with our previous relatives who died - you can't always get to their money (for funeral's, etc.) immediately. in one case, my wife was her aunts sole beneficiary, had all Powers of XXX, was the only person listed in her will, had her "Conservator and Guardianship" (the aunt had Alzheimer's and was incapacitated), had signing privileges on all her accounts, etc. You would think all that would pretty well cover things. But when she died and my wife tried to withdraw funds for the funeral, no dice. She was blocked 100% by the banks. We paid for the funeral out of our pocket. Eventually getting reimbursed later when the inheritance was finally made available to my wife.

Lesson learned by us. If you are legally set up to withdraw funds from your relatives accounts, and need those funds to pay for their funeral, withdraw what you need VERY QUICKLY after death, before the banks put a freeze on it, even though the money is technically yours.

We were fine paying for a funeral out of our pocket. They're ridiculously expensive, but being older ourselves, we had the cash. I know my kids would not have the temporary funds to pay for my wife and I's funerals. Hopefully all the assets we put into a trust for the kids would work, but who knows - some stupid bank may freeze up the trust for a while. Pre-paid funerals may be the way to go, but we haven't set that up yet.

#295668 - 04/07/20 08:19 PM Re: What Have We Learned? [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
DaveL Offline

Registered: 10/03/18
Posts: 73
Loc: Colorado Springs,CO
Yep my sister in-law was on the joint account, and had to get a lawyer. Greedy banksters .
Be very careful on prepaid a lot of scams in that business

#295671 - 04/08/20 02:56 AM Re: What Have We Learned? [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
LesSnyder Offline

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1652
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
that is the reason for the 5 signed checks.... so those funds may be used from my checking account

#295677 - 04/08/20 02:48 PM Re: What Have We Learned? [Re: LesSnyder]
haertig Offline

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 2269
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: LesSnyder
that is the reason for the 5 signed checks.... so those funds may be used from my checking account

The problem is, the bank may not honor them, even if signed. In my wife's case, she was a signer on her aunt's account and the bank would not honor her signature in the immediate period after her aunts death. IIRC, the bank froze ALL transactions into or out of the accounts upon learning of the death. Doesn't matter who was signing what, every transaction was stopped.

So you should probably instruct those who you expect to be cashing your checks to cash them FAST after your death, before the bank becomes aware that you have passed. I would still rely on speed as my first defense against banking bureaucracy.

When my wife's dad died, she remembered the aunt's banking ordeal, and immediately withdrew $20k from her dad's accounts. No problem - she got the money out before the bank started in with another account freeze. Nothing illegal there - she had all Powers of XXX and was a legal signer on the account. She just beat the bank bureaucracy at its own game in this second go-round, that's all.

It might be instructional to call your bank, before you die, and ask them exactly what will happen to your account, and for how long, after they are notified of your death. Including how they will handle checks that were signed before your death. What they say might be an eye-opener. Or maybe you're lucky enough to have a good bank. Asking first would be a good first step to knowing the details. What I'm betting you'll find, might be that having blank signed checks sitting around is a huge risk for you while you're still alive, but useless to anyone after you're dead. That's just my hunch.

#295689 - 04/09/20 04:23 PM Re: What Have We Learned? [Re: haertig]
Michael2 Offline

Registered: 10/07/04
Posts: 55
Originally Posted By: haertig
So we are making a physical "one-stop-box" ...

I use one of these for that:

Honeywell Fire Safe Waterproof Box, Medium, Model 1103

It's pretty distinctive, i.e., doesn't look like any of the zillion Banker's Boxes around my place - so it's easy to describe to distant relations how to find it.

About 50 bucks. It's not an anti-burglar "safe" - it's easy to open it up. Anyways, it's not that heavy, and it has a handle, after all.

Its purpose is to preserve the contents, until the Fire Department shows up. Compare the rating of the fire chest (this one is rated at 30 minutes) with the response time of your local FD (mine is about 5-10 minutes) to see if it's a match for your needs.

#295694 - 04/10/20 08:14 AM Re: What Have We Learned? [Re: Michael2]
Chisel Offline

Registered: 12/05/05
Posts: 1361
A few years ago, I started preparing a 'guide' listing al my bank accounts and passwords ..etc. but was slow in updating it. A few months ago, visiting a number of clinics for various medical problems, I started working on the file , then printed it and gave it to my oldest daughter.

If anything happens to me like corona, I wish to have the time and ability to transfer to her account a large sum from my account. Dealing with this stuff after "not surviving" is complicated enough.

#295736 - 04/13/20 08:26 PM Re: What Have We Learned? [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
Jeanette_Isabelle Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 2573
Loc: Somewhere in Florida
Do not include store-brand lawn and leaf bags in your preps. Buy something that you can depend on!

Jeanette Isabelle
“Birds of a feather sure know how to clip each other’s wings, huh?” Lutz, Ascendance of a Bookworm: Part 2 Volume 4

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