Things I’ve Learned The Last Few Weeks

A couple of things I’ve learned in the last couple of weeks after the passing of my grandmother.

  1. About a year before she died, mom took all of grandmother’s bills & bank statements and put them in a binder.  The binder is about 5″ thick and had page protectors that she put all of the bills for 2010 in alphabetical order.  Each credit card account had its own sleeve.  Grandmother had many, many, many credit cards and paid them all on time, etc., but this was an immense help of organization when trying to figure out what she still owed.  So, I plan to set up my own filing system for important papers and will then tell 4 people where it is – my mother, my husband, and 2 friends.  That way any of the 4 of them can find the information in case something happens to either one of us.
  2. Have a competent lawyer!  We didn’t find a will in grandmother’s belongings.  We know about what it said, but didn’t find a copy of it.  Later mom realized that grandmother had given it to her, but mom’s house had a tree fall on it last summer, so she is still living in a surreal situation that can’t possibly be covered in this post.  🙂  We looked through mom’s binders (see #1) and through some important papers that she has where she’s living now, but no will.  We then called the lawyer who said she has a copy, but it’s unsigned.  WHAT???  She said that she, “wasn’t near a copy machine when the original was signed.”  Ummm that’s completely unacceptable!  Every lawyer I’ve ever dealt with prints at least 2 copies and has the client sign each copy.  The client takes one and the lawyer keeps one.  That way if something happens, there’s still a signed original in the lawyer’s possession.  Being as how my husband & I have no will, we need to A) get a will ASAP & B) tell my mom & 2 others the name of the lawyer that assisted us in creating the will, which a copy of will be in the binder (see #1)
  3. Make sure any property and stock we own has the right of survivorship to each other in case something happens to keep from having to go to probate court.
  4. Have a sealed safe of some kind (fireproof, waterproof, etc.) in case of flooding, or fire.
  5. Collect any information about IRA accounts, stocks, property ownership, titles to vehicles, insurance, etc.
  6. Have the phone number for home insurance in my cell phone in case something drastic happens (fire, flood, tree falling on the house, etc.).
  7. Tell my family & friends on a regular basis how much I love and appreciate them.  Although they know it, they don’t get to hear it near enough.

Finally, I learned that I need to clean house!  I need to get rid of all the stuff that I don’t really care about because if something does happen, I don’t want others to have to figure out what to do with it.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ll never get down to 100 items as many minimalists suggest, but I see large donations to The Salvation Army in my future.  😀


2 thoughts on “Things I’ve Learned The Last Few Weeks

  1. Excellent points Deb! We all need to do these things… put our house in order to be sure. I still cant believe what that lawyer said. She could get into serious trouble over this… Never let a client leave your office without the paperwork completed and signed. I do hope you can find the copy in your mom’s house. probate is sticky work and they need all the paperwork. What a headache. . Anyway, trust that you will find the missing one…
    Please could you add the social network tabs to your blog. I wanted to tweet this but no button. 😦
    WordPress has set it up for you; just have to add the widget to your blog.
    Go to Dashboard-> Appearance-> Widgets and you can hover and move them into your primary widget box. It should already be set up and you don’t need to do much but copy the URL for your sites and add them to the right box.
    Try it! 🙂

    1. OK, I’ve searched and can’t find how to add the box along the bottom of my posts that you have. 😦 I don’t have a twitter account, so adding the widget box doesn’t work. Can you give me the code you put in the bottom of your posts? HELP!

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