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Old 02-02-2015, 02:51 PM
Location: Idaho
4,645 posts, read 4,486,616 times
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Originally Posted by yellowsnow View Post
Both of my parents kept their financial matters very secret. Made no sense because I was their caregiver...
When both of my parents were alive, they kept their financial matters to themselves. After my dad died, my mom put me on the accounts. From time to time, she would ask me to withdraw some money from the credit union, but otherwise, I had no interactions with the accounts. My parents had a trust and I was the executor, so it made perfect sense to put me on the accounts. When she died, it made things so very easy to settle the estate.

I have just the one daughter, and she does not know anything about my financial affairs. If she ever gets her "head screwed on straight" and starts living a productive and responsible adult life, then I'll let her know what I have, and where it is. She will be my only beneficiary, so she should know . . . eventually.
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Old 02-02-2015, 04:14 PM
Location: Living on the Coast in Oxnard CA
15,756 posts, read 26,814,388 times
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All I think they need to know is where is the will. LOL
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Old 02-02-2015, 04:45 PM
Location: North Monterey County
3,195 posts, read 2,866,336 times
Reputation: 4902
Originally Posted by BayAreaHillbilly View Post
If my folks (especially my dad - given most of his peers ended up as VPs and C levels) had been more successful, long term, in their careers, and didn't have the situation with my brother, they would be in the same boat as your sister and hubby. But they didn't quite do that well. My dad had several periods of unemployment and my mom had bad luck with start ups (not every start up ends up as an Apple or a Facebook). All the more reason for them to have put mind ahead of heart and done a dispassionate calculation with subsequent action plan. Maybe one of the reasons they never shared is they know I will judge things harshly.
My BIL was laid-off by Carly Fiorina at age 54 after 34 years at HP in R&D. It could have gone very bad for them - but they prepared for the worst and have done well.
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Old 02-02-2015, 05:17 PM
26,061 posts, read 33,064,041 times
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Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
We have everything about our finances on a thumb drive that we keep in the safe, along with all important documents about us, the house (deed, car titles, records of prop tax paid, etc etc). There is a second and third in line to act as DPA in case we parents wind up in serious condition or die together in an accident. (I worry most about our dogs, as none of our kids are really in a position to take them, but "hopeful instructions" are to keep them in the family.) Our kids know where the safe is and the combo. The revocable trust in addition to the wills (something I think everyone should have regardless of how well off they are or aren't) has put my mind at ease.
That is an excellent way to handle it. I am in the process of documenting all my "crap", and I think the safe idea is a great one.
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Old 02-02-2015, 10:17 PM
13,696 posts, read 13,632,565 times
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From the perspective of the 38-year-old daughter of an 83-year-old man, I don't know anything about his finances, and it freaks me out. I have bought a house that has enough room for him to live with me if needed, but I don't know if I will have to take care of him or not. He assures me he has enough to live on quite comfortably, and I know he has some property assets, but the man was the stock market equivalent of a gambler when I was a kid, and he still thinks he has the ability to play the markets. What if he tanks his accounts? What if there's not enough for his care should he become incapacitated?

Any attempt to find out what his wishes are just ends with a laugh and "Just shoot me." I truly believe he thinks he will anticipate the hour of his death and just wander out into the swamp where he spent his childhood to die. It's not much of a retirement plan, if you ask me.

My mother, on the other hand, keeps me apprised of what her overall financial health is, and I know she has enough to get her through any major disaster.

You don't have to tell your kids much - just let them know there is a plan should you not be capable of caring for yourself and enough money set aside to ensure you can execute that plan.
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Old 02-03-2015, 12:02 AM
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I've got a short answer. And along story (so forgive me)

I guess in short, I'd say even if parents are healthy and paying their bills and able to handle their finances, kids should know where the money is and "generally" how much and which kinds of accounts (which institutions, etc). And also that a will, POA, living will are in place. I've seen how tragedy can strike, and if no one knows anything about anything it can be a mess! It's not fair to leave that crap of a situation behind. To do that to people you supposedly love or care about is unconscionable. (IMO)...and so unnecessary.

But what if you don't have a spouse or kids? I'm single and as of now don't have any family member I'd trust with my finances. A friend of 35 years is my POA and executrix. I asked if she'd do it so while she knows she'd been named and the documents exist -- we haven't had specific talks about my accounts, living will, directives, and particular instructions, etc.

My mom's story:
I knew everything about my mom's finances, and eventually took them over completely, acting on her behalf. When my mom's bills started to get lost and not being paid on time I knew it was time to step up -- for her sake. So if she ever needed care or medical attention the money was there to be used for that purpose. We were always very close so at first I just started checking the mail and paying the bills out of our joint account (I've ALWAYS been on all of her accounts). Eventually, I them put them on online banking and had them sent to me and I paid them still out of our joint account.

When I first started taking over the finances she had six accounts, in five different banks. THAT was the first thing I consolidated. We went and estate planning attorney who recommended a financial planner, and a CPA. I had her team in place. Mom had a will. That was checked, and a POA drawn up. We also got an asset protection plan. My mom was very compliant from the start. Never resisted anything I did. Trusted me implicitly. We had that kind of relationship.

By the time she was actually diagnosed with dementia the plan and team had been in place for more than 5 years. We knew each other -- and THEY could trust that I was acting in HER best interest. She died in October. Our CPA is handling her final tax return, our attorney is handling the inheritance state tax return...and the only reason there is ANY probate for one account is because I was so tired and overwhelmed I just didn't get to it. I knew it was out there, I just figure what the heck, if one account is probated I can live with that...the attorney is going to handle it anyway.

On the other hand, that same friend who's my POA -- her 85-year-old dad is fighting her every stop of the way, not filling her in on what he has, where accounts are. So while he's in rehab she'd going through the mail to try to have some idea of what the heck his situation is financially.

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Old 02-03-2015, 01:13 AM
Location: Out there somewhere...a traveling man.
39,585 posts, read 47,836,774 times
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If people would just set up a living revocable trust it would solve a lot of problems. The trust spells out everything anyone would need to know and saves a ton of headaches and legal situations.
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Old 02-03-2015, 01:28 AM
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FYI...as for better asset protection in certain circumstances, my understanding is that a trust has to be IRrevocable. And of course you need a trustee you can trust implicitly.

I'd imagine a parent who doesn't trust a child with basic finances, isn't likely to trust them to be a trustee on an irrevocable trust. But if asset protection is a goal, they can always do the trust and just name someone else whom they do trust....as trustee.
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Old 02-03-2015, 01:35 AM
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,687 posts, read 40,050,764 times
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Originally Posted by wit-nit View Post
If people would just set up a living revocable trust it would solve a lot of problems. The trust spells out everything anyone would need to know and saves a ton of headaches and legal situations.
100% disclosure to our kids. (As it has been for 30 yrs / homeschooling) How else would they have learned from Mom and Dad's mistakes? (they were managing / trading in their ROTH IRAs by age 12).

We 'gave-it-all-away' 20 yrs ago while in our 30's, so the kids will manage the 'donor advised fund', as will the grandkids and beyond.

No planned inheritance. Kids have been 100 % on their own for 15 yrs. They will have adequate opportunity to 'accumulate' and to lose. They have some opportunity for metered distributions (at various ages) from Living Trust. (When we croak). Most of Living Trust distributions rolls to Donor Advised fund / Family Trust.

I HIGHLY recommend the $300 - $500 service of a GREAT estate Attorney (every few yrs) to keep that Living Trust up to current tax law, and to avoid War Stories on distributions.

We have always done lots of investment decisions and activities as a family, still own one commercial property together that the kids and I would love to unload SOON!.

While homeschooling, we had farms, built homes and commercial buildings and businesses, lived and worked internationally, and ran a few investment and business activities.

The kids are helping to plan our investments / cash flows for the next yr, as we hope to be gone for most of it on a RTW trip to burn up excess mileage. I trust my kids far more than my other choices (trust officer / attorney / relatives). The kids were very much a part of our 'wealth accumulation' as we did everything as a family (Except the 28 yrs of night shift work by the main wage earner... all 'wage proceeds' donated to the family cause (daily living / wealth building).) Years of family business activities were all mutually shared.
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Old 02-13-2015, 07:28 PM
Location: Florida -
8,769 posts, read 10,867,395 times
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Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post

I HIGHLY recommend the $300 - $500 service of a GREAT estate Attorney (every few yrs) to keep that Living Trust up to current tax law, and to avoid War Stories on distributions.

Perhaps you could expand on this. I guess tax laws do change - How often is it advisable to update these documents?
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