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Your kids still don’t want your stuff! Some ideas for you!

July 10, 2018

They still don’t want your stuff. Last week’s article addressed the topic of personal property or your stuff, and the top 10 things kids don’t want to inherit from their parents or relatives. Fine china is at the top of the list with sterling silver flatware and crystal glasses running a close 2nd. The audience recommended donating to an organization, having a garage sale, opening an account for selling online, or my favorite, giving to the person you want to have it knowing it is now theirs to do as they please. I recently did this with my diamond wedding rings even though I would still occasionally wear them. For me, it was so much fun telling my niece the humorous story of my wedding day on Friday, June 13th. I reassured her the rings were hers and she could decide their fate. One woman with quite the collection of figurines is donating them as bingo prizes for her church. Another woman displays some of her photos each year at the family reunion and asks family members to choose a favorite. This creates the perfect opportunity to relive memories while decreasing the number of photos she has in her possession. Antique furniture was another topic of great concern. Conversation ensued about having the antiques appraised for selling or donating. Someone asked if the Antique Roadshow would be making an appearance in central Illinois anytime soon. The topic of books generated a lively discussion because this was the preferred method of education for many audience members, myself included. When I moved back to Illinois 11 years ago, my personal belongings included over 500 books. Since then, I’ve donated over 300 to libraries or others, but I’m sure my college finance books will forever be a permanent fixture on my bookcases. The type of book also was a big discussion topic especially if it was a gift for a graduation or special occasion, a signed copy by the author, or great-grandmother’s bible. I emphasized the importance of the owner determining the best course of action since it is their stuff to decide if something should be sold, given away, or even discarded. These are just some of the ideas we have to offer so you can begin your downsizing process in case your kids or other relatives don’t want your stuff. Where to start? How to begin such an overwhelming task? To help you get started, download our 'Personal Property Chapter'. After all, do you really want to burden your loved ones with all your stuff?

Tagged As: aging preparing
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I thought I would inherit the house!

May 29, 2018
In most situations, it is assumed someone will inherit the house. As our parents age and are faced with the difficult decision of how long they are able to continue living in their home, there is always the question of what will happen to their house. It can be a shock to family members when they are made aware of the cost associated with mom and/or dad moving into a retirement community, an assisted living facility or a nursing home. At one of my speaking engagements in April, the cost of long-term care generated quite the discussion among the attendees. Prices vary depending on the type of care, but my audience was shocked to learn about the depletion of an entire estate in Boston due to three years of payments to a nursing home at the cost of $12,000 per month. Luckily, the woman had a long-term care policy, but her nursing home costs still required the sale of her home and most of her possessions. It was unfortunate for this family when they realized no one would inherit the house. Having the conversation about Legacy Planning prior to needing to sale the family home or business is a loving and generous thing to do for your family and friends. It will help reduce the stress and confusion associated with a major life change. Have you thought about where you’d want to live if you no longer could stay in your home? Would you want to live closer to your children? If the reason for the move is Alzheimer’s or dementia, do you have a power of attorney for finances and health care? Do you have a documented plan for your personal property, real estate or any other important possessions? Is your estate set up so your family will inherit the house?
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Am I really this old already? That just can’t be right!

May 1, 2018

As we gathered last fall to celebrate my mother’s 90th birthday, we had relatives flying in from all over the country. My mother was blessed with four sons and six daughters, and she came from a large family too, so it was a weekend of catching up with aunts, uncles and cousins we hadn’t seen in years. As I entertained some of the older cousins that weekend and our conversation drifted to the fact that most of us kids are now in our 60s, one cousin made a statement which resulted in laughter at first, but then the reality set in of what she had just said. Her comment was “I thought growing old would take longer!” It was quite humbling to realize we all were closer to the age of 70, than 50. Because several of us had lost siblings at much younger ages, we were thankful to be celebrating my mother’s 90th and proceeded to share stories and laughter of those much younger days when we thought we’d live forever. We also talked about how and where we’d want to ‘grow old’. Have you let others know your wishes? Do your loved ones know how you want your personal property distributed, where your insurance policies are located, what to do about your funeral services, who to contact in case of your death or any of your other personal information?

Tagged As: aging