Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas
Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters. Unknown
Yesterday my husband and I went over to my mother in laws and sat in the back yard talking to his mother and his sister. His sister said she wondered why so many families don’t talk about what is important and when someone dies there is so much left unsaid, and unknown.
His mother said, “She heard of a situation where the grandmother had a life insurance policy a granddaughter saw with her name as the beneficiary and wanted to hasten her inheritance.” That is a scary thought. Is it better to do like Gloria Vanderbilt who according to interviews with Anderson Cooper was not leaving an inheritance to her children? She left most of it to Anderson Cooper upon her death. In the interview, he said, “If he knew he would be getting an inheritance maybe he wouldn’t have built a life.” He said, “he doesn’t believe in inheritance for that reason.” The burden of inheritance is now his, but he has built a life for himself, and he will probably be able to deal with it.
Someone I know tells me she is now looking after her Grandmother-in-laws affairs and found a ninety-year-old paying for insurance that only pays out until you are eighty-five. This sounds like a fraud on the insurance company’s part. Surely they know the age of who they are insuring. Shouldn’t they have a process in place to cancel policies that no longer benefit the insured? That’s five years of wasted premiums and what did she need the insurance for anyway? She has no dependents to take care of. The money she has should be spent on making her life the best it can be.
We are all going to reach the departure lounge – one day. Will you be ready? David Brady
We can meddle and it not be necessary, and not meddle and find we should have. A little open conversation may be in order. Once someone is gone there are questions we may have asked but didn’t get an answer to, or maybe questions we couldn’t quite voice. Maybe there are conversations if we have them more questions will be brought up. But, if we don’t have them we’ll never know, and the opportunity will be lost.
It makes me think if something happened to my husband and I what have we not said to our children? What do we not have in place that should be put in place to make things easier? What if something happened to one of us?
When my Dad died my parents had everything in place for either of them to take over everything easily. No muss, no fuss, no will, no government intervention. Mom tells me of a lady she knew who didn’t get the house in her name upon her husband’s passing. A government trustee was in control of the estate. She was told she couldn’t sell the house, but she did, and then they left her alone, and everything was hers, and under her control.
Management is a big part of life, and a big part of death as well. Many families become fragmented over what is left behind upon the parent’s death. It probably doesn’t have to be this way, but what we couldn’t sort out and fix during life is unlikely to be easier after death.
Do we have to have some hard conversations? Do we have to face our own mortality and others? It isn’t better if we pretend it won’t happen. The only question is when, and will we be prepared to deal in the best way with the worst?
Have the courage to say no. Have the courage to face the truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity. W. Clement Stone
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