To make a long story short, we have recently experienced the deaths of some friends. One was a cousin to my wife, a guy whose lifestyle (although he had cleaned his act up) probably caught up to him, another who was in excellent health as far as anyone knew. Both were a touch younger than me. Both more or less died suddenly, one dropped dead doing yard work (the healthy guy) and the other spent 2 weeks in the hospital prior to his death.
Anyway, I recently have had an angiogram (no stent as yet) and the combination of the friends deaths and my procedure has kind of freaked out my wife. She has calmed down for the most part but I seriously wonder how she would take it if I dropped dead. Poorly no doubt. :)
Now we have a will, and a living Trust, everything is set up. Heck, we are even friends with the guy who runs the funeral home (we have done a lot of business with him, and he with us). But I guess my question is much can you prepare someone for the unknown. Should I map out my own funeral? Part of me likes that idea, but it would seem like a weird thing to do.
By the way, I plan to live forever so don’t read this as though I know what’s coming. I just wonder if there is anything else you can do.
This brings up the issue I am having, I have no will and have no idea what to do to get one, is it something I can just write up myself and get notarized or do I have to see a lawyer?
Other suggestions for you, do you have a plot or somewhere you want your remains to be put? Are you planning on getting embalmed or cremated? You have a family friend who is a undertaker so that stuff should be super easy to get in place.
Also I suggest even if it is a bit morbid, but writing out your own obituary, as I’ve seen on multiple occasions people just not knowing everything you’ve accomplished in your life that you want known to the world after you’ve passed. My mother who is 83 recently wrote up her’s with decades of work history, community volunteering, and personal achievements she wanted mentioned. Stuff I’d of never thought about. So I was glad she did it how she wants it. Even if I tell her she has a good 15 years left in the engine.
This is the type of thing I think we need to decide. Any couple should talk about these type things but I think few do. They aren’t really part of the will process.
As for the will itself, you probably don’t need a lawyer for that but for the living trust thing you probably do. I think once you have kids you owe it to them (and your significant other) to set up both.
We set up a family trust shortly after my son, who was 55, died suddenly without a will or trust and two teenage daughters. We were recommended an old lawyer who was still on the job to keep busy. He only charged $600, about 1/4 of what my neighbors paid for theirs. We set up a plan for cremation with a mortuary for a moderate sum. We are in our early 80s, but I think anyone should have a family trust by the time they are 50. We did have a will that it replaced. We had a terrible time locating financial information for my son and it had to go to probate, which took a long time.
I did the will and trust things, too, a few years back. I’ve told my family that I don’t want anything extensive done in terms of funeral…cremate and scatter someplace nice, I’m good. My aim is to make it as easy as possible for those left behind when I go, because it sure ain’t gonna matter to me at that point.
These can be surprisingly expensive to publish in a large circulation newspaper, easily costing $400+. For example, in an article I googled the San Francisco Chronicle charges $86 per inch and an extra $170 for a photo. Depending on the newspaper and the length of your mom’s obit, it could really cost a lot.
I’ve told my wife I want a Tibetan air burial. And then a wake. No ceremony. But I have a play list for the wake.
I’m not sure she is going to honor the first part, or even if she can legally anywhere in the US. Maybe Canada?
We have a sort-of will. In other words, a lawyer started it, but we never finished it. Things are spelled out fairly well–we have somebody lined up to take the cats if we both bite it at the same time. And we give them money for doing so. So we aren’t completely blind, but we should probably codify things better.