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Old 07-07-2019, 10:27 AM
 
38 posts, read 8,618 times
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We went thru a similar situation when my Dad passed. My step-mother really couldn't handle the finances. So, my brother now handles the big picture, and my step-sister handles the day to day bill paying.



Do you have kids that you would trust to help her?
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Old 07-07-2019, 11:21 AM
 
5,397 posts, read 6,538,749 times
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OP, just a question: Ask yourself and her (in a nice way) - is she mentally incapable of math and money management? Is she mostly confused by YOUR method of money management? Do you use spread sheets (for example) and can she use spreadsheets that SHE makes or does she even use those? Is she more comfortable with a simple two line income outgo accounting type budgeting. Does she understand money management at all? Is she willing to learn? Should you separate budgeting from investment management and tackle them differently?

The way I read your initial post, she has no clue and is almost child like and in the moment with money. Is that the case? Or is it that she has a different mental process that can be trained in her own way to the same desired end?

What I am getting at is that my ex husband handled the finances which I reviewed and trusted him to act in the role of money keeper and with our investments. However his methods for spread sheets were just crazy and unfathomable with me asking "Why do you do it this way? Isn't there a simpler way to do this? " For example, We hired an au pair and he had her clocking in on a timesheet every 15 minutes. She walked out.

Now, I was also an analyst and played with numbers myself so I could figure it out, but I saw no need to make things any more complicated than necessary. and his mind, well notice I said ex, and he was the equivalent of Mr. Spock of Startrek. Our minds did not go the same way even when on the same path.

So while this is an understandable concern, if it were me (thinking as a wife), I would not want to jump right to the idea of a trust to dole out money for my life. It would be insulting to me.

I (as a couple) would look at cause and shared outcomes. What does she want to do, what is she willing to do? Does she even see the importance of your concern? Can you go a route more in line with her thought process? Does she even see the danger you see? Is she clueless and incapable? and disinterested? Is she merely a spender?

So my suggestion would be to have a sit down with her to get to the root of why she is unconcerned with finances and consequences. Then what would be the best things to assuage your concern for her care if you are gone first taking her personal desires into account.

She has a right to be part of the decision process. It may be that setting up trusts and having someone else manage her remaining money is suitable to her. Maybe she is willing to take adult finance and money management classes. Maybe she is willing to take on portions of budgeting now and get a feel for it while you are still here. Maybe investments could be under a trust and be managed but she handles her day to day budgeting.

I don't know but if you are asking what to do, it is my suggestion to have a heart to heart understanding and then together take the steps best for you both. If you are getting ideas in preparation for this, I commend you.

Good luck

P.S. It amazes me how many spouses I have known are spenders and figure beloved spouse will take care of it. So I get it.

Last edited by theoldnorthstate; 07-07-2019 at 12:09 PM..
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Old 07-07-2019, 12:29 PM
 
1,837 posts, read 789,202 times
Reputation: 3385
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemencia53 View Post
She might have a relationship with money that goes back into her past?

My roommate makes twice what i do, but i have to tide him over some months.

The time they were about to shut off our water, that was it and i took over all utility bills. The water guys knew me, so they just let me know and let me take care of it. He said he forgot.

I don't know why he doesn't care about paying bills. His cable and internet get paid a few minutes after they shut them off. He has the funds - he is disorganized.

We keep our money separate. I do have acces to his accounts, he wouldn't know how to get to mine.

I just gave up wondering. He does do a lot and buys a lot for the house, but paying bills????

I have a spreadsheet for mine - everything is color coded etc - automatically tallied.

Its crazy.
You might sit down with him and his online banking and help him set up automatic bill pay to you for his share of the expenses you both contribute to the same day his check is deposited to make sure the funds are there. You would then be responsible to make sure that all bills are paid. Any personal bills, if he gets cut off that's his issue.
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Old 07-07-2019, 12:45 PM
 
6,321 posts, read 5,061,406 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthofHere View Post
You might sit down with him and his online banking and help him set up automatic bill pay to you for his share of the expenses you both contribute to the same day his check is deposited to make sure the funds are there. You would then be responsible to make sure that all bills are paid. Any personal bills, if he gets cut off that's his issue.
yea he keeps saying he is going to do the auto pay for the internet and cable - but hasn't yet

I pay the important utilities - electric, water and gas.

I don't touch his personal bills.
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Old 07-07-2019, 01:46 PM
 
50 posts, read 16,293 times
Reputation: 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by ysr_racer View Post
Bang, zoom, to da moon?

He almost certainly wouldn't outlive his wife in this scenario.
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Old 07-07-2019, 03:24 PM
 
Location: Florida
4,365 posts, read 3,704,692 times
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If you try and have her do it do you have someone that could get copies of the bank and brokerage statements to review for problems each month? They would not be able to do transactions but could spot problems. You can also assign a trusted individual to accounts with some powers.

I know of a couple where the husband paid all the bills but due to health problems had to transfer to wife. Wife was capable to do this but had a problem with hand writing so had a friend come in each week and pay that weeks bills. Wife signed checks. Wife had a relative reconcile the monthly bank statement for any problems.
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Old 07-07-2019, 05:00 PM
 
Location: SoCal
13,235 posts, read 6,340,776 times
Reputation: 9854
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemencia53 View Post
yea he keeps saying he is going to do the auto pay for the internet and cable - but hasn't yet

I pay the important utilities - electric, water and gas.

I don't touch his personal bills.
I pay 12 months ahead so I can get credit card bonus, but itís so nice to not have to pay every month.
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Old 07-07-2019, 07:58 PM
 
Location: Ohio
19,924 posts, read 14,242,533 times
Reputation: 16103
Quote:
Originally Posted by bodog57 View Post
How do I get her to follow financial discipline?
Lawyer.

Your spouse is so far beyond help at this stage in the game it's not even amusing.

You can't teach an old dog new tricks, so don't even waste your time.

Choose a lawyer that specializes in family and estate planning. Get references. Yes, you're allowed to do that. Make a short list. Then interview them. Yes, you're allowed to do that, too.

Choose the one with whom you feel most comfortable and will be attentive to your family's interests.

State laws vary greatly, but what you're looking to do is some kind of trust that will guarantee all the bills are paid, including those pesky property taxes and the homeowner's insurance, and give your spouse an allowance.

You can choose weekly, bi-weekly or monthly for the allowance. Quarterly if you want, but that's probably not advisable. Bi-weekly is probably best.

Then rest easy knowing that everything is taken care of and your spouse has money to spend any way they want, but they can't blow it all or fritter it away and no one else can abuse or manipulate them into gaining control of the money.
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Old 07-07-2019, 09:48 PM
 
2,038 posts, read 1,949,102 times
Reputation: 3449
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mircea View Post
Lawyer.

Your spouse is so far beyond help at this stage in the game it's not even amusing.

You can't teach an old dog new tricks, so don't even waste your time.

Choose a lawyer that specializes in family and estate planning. Get references. Yes, you're allowed to do that. Make a short list. Then interview them. Yes, you're allowed to do that, too.

Choose the one with whom you feel most comfortable and will be attentive to your family's interests.

State laws vary greatly, but what you're looking to do is some kind of trust that will guarantee all the bills are paid, including those pesky property taxes and the homeowner's insurance, and give your spouse an allowance.

You can choose weekly, bi-weekly or monthly for the allowance. Quarterly if you want, but that's probably not advisable. Bi-weekly is probably best.

Then rest easy knowing that everything is taken care of and your spouse has money to spend any way they want, but they can't blow it all or fritter it away and no one else can abuse or manipulate them into gaining control of the money.
How much would this cost? I imagine the cost of a lawyer would be pretty high to do simple tasks like paying bills that everyone does on their own, but looks like in this case might have to do something like that.
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Old 07-08-2019, 05:12 AM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
546 posts, read 632,425 times
Reputation: 856
Quote:
Originally Posted by fumbling View Post
How much would this cost? I imagine the cost of a lawyer would be pretty high to do simple tasks like paying bills that everyone does on their own, but looks like in this case might have to do something like that.

Another (estate planning and probate) lawyer here.

I would say that the worst-case-scenario / sticker-shock estimate of a couple's estate planning documents (so, two wills or revocable trusts, plus all powers of attorney and directives) would be around $5,000, BUT that really is a worst-case scenario, depending on region and complexity, and your cost is likely to be less -- possibly a LOT less.

As I wrote in my earlier post, this may seem like a lot (and it is), but it is a teeny-tiny drop in the bucket compared with the waste of time and money -- not to mention the extreme stress -- that results from poor estate planning in a situation like this.

As for the question above, it's very unlikely that the lawyer would be the trustee with ongoing involvement with the bill-paying, distributions, etc. The lawyer helps the clients put it in place. Depending on the size of the estate and the family dynamics / constellation of people available, the trustee would either be a trust company or a trusted family member or close family friend (ideally younger than surviving spouse).

I wish I could emphasize how MUCH money advance estate planning saves in the long run. Those who have been involved in contested estates -- or who have been involved in nearly any sort of guardianship of an adult incapacitated person, contested or not -- can confirm this.

I would recommend posting on your city's local message board asking for lawyers' input about how to find an experienced estate planning lawyer. (In Texas, a good place to at least start searching is the Texas Board of Legal Specialization site, tbls.org, searching for lawyers who are board certified in Estate Planning and Probate Law.)


Again, good luck to anyone reading this and considering how to proceed!
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