We keep running across articles on the subject that we address in our book Before I Go. We don’t want to harp on it, but we will because it’s so important. The death of a parent or spouse is traumatic and having to mine through piles of records, notebooks, mail or a scattering of statements at a time of profound grief is never pleasant.
Knowing what mortgage payment to make before a home loan goes into default or even carrying out what should be simple tasks, such as returning a cable box, can be frustratingly thwarted by privacy-minded institutions unless a child has access to a deceased parent’s data, from passwords to powers of attorney to lists of every account in which they have money. Not all families are comfortable having those conversations, however, nor have all parents set up revocable living trusts to simplify the process.
We agree, but the idea that having a trust is the answer to these problems is simply not true. A trust or will is necessary, but the details mentioned in the preceding paragraph are rarely mentioned in either the trust or the will. The answer is to fill out the Before I Go Workbook and give your spouse or children some peace of mind after you go.
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