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Thread: Questions to ask your Parents...

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    Default Questions to ask your Parents...

    Recently we had a close family friend unexpectedly and suddenly pass away. It has got me thinking on questions to ask regarding finances, health, what they want us do to after death etc - just to be proactive and have a plan. I did a quick google search but its only providing pretty frilly questions. Just wondering if anyone had any feedback on good critical questions to ask.

    Originally posted by arian_ma
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    Sorry to hear. Condolences.

    One biggest thing to ask is if they have a will. If they don't, I think lenders get first crack at the estate.

    Second is to find out about life insurance information.

    I know my parents want to be cremated. Visiting a cemetery in -40c sucks.

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    Get ALL passwords and account info (computers, banking, investments, etc.) and a complete list of their accounts/services/subscriptions that they use. Or at the very least be able to use their email for various password recoveries.

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    Make sure they have will AND power of attorney. Not necessarily in the case of death, but the power of attorney is super important. Last year my grandparent's mental health took a very sharp decline, especially my grandpas who now lives in a dementia unit. Since they had all their paper work in place it made it so much easier for my mom to take care of everything for them.

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    There are two important things:
    1. Will (in case of death)
    2. Personal directive (no death, but incapable of communication; poor mental health, brain injury, etc etc)

    It's very important to get all the necessary information, including banking info, whether or not they want you to pull the plug, etc, in the personal directive (and obviously in the Will). Granting someone power of attorney can be done via the personal directive.

    Them telling you what they want to do with their finances doesn't mean anything without a personal directive that you (and banks) can act on; without this, it's possible that finances/assets are tied up indefinitely.

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    Also, MAKE SURE YOU KNOW WHERE THIS INFORMATION IS!

    My parents have a folder in a small safe that details all this information, their wishes in case of death or traumatic brain injury, etc etc.

    It does no good if all this work is done but you don't know where the info is.
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    Sorry to hear and condolences.
    Much of my post has already been covered above. Just some details.

    I have had family members pass here and My parents are getting old and Ive had to ask them similar questions.
    Its not a easy thing to do. One of the challenges I have had is and you may have is that your loved ones are born in ‘different time’. So the way they talk or communicate about stuff may not be straightforward.

    Health.
    I talked my dad about his health from when he can remember. Same with my mother. Two things I found crucial were the health/conditions of their grandparents and really importantly the health of their siblings. How did their siblings pass away, cancer, illness, any conditions from childhood etc. Speak to your loved ones separately as one may know more about the other siblings. i.e my mother knows more about my the family health of my dads side.
    Its important to know this as stuff will effect you/siblings and your children as your getting older.

    Financial stuff.
    Get an idea of how they live. Secondly find out Investments, land and overseas property. Life insurance. Bank statements/account numbers. Are accounts joint? If so is there right of survivorship?
    If not ensure joint accounts have ‘right of survivorship’. Its amazing how many people ignore this crucial detail. ITS INSANE! If one spouse passes the other has access to the account right away. Under the old system this was taken as a given. Not any more, your signature cards at the bank have to state this now. That’s the first thing they look for. Go check them, if not, resign them.

    Will and living will/power of attorney. As written in above posts. THIS is so important. Written directive. If one of your loved ones has a stroke or is unable to make decisions, what is the process? What do they want..? How is the house run? Simple things like car insurance or paying bills can be a headache.
    For the love of god I will write it again. Will and living will with clear instructions.
    Banks will fuck you over. I will write that again… They will fuck you and sing the song of their people to you. In the midths of the penetration they will make you say ‘I love you’ through your sobs and tears.

    As soon as your loved one is incapacitated or passes. The financial intuitions will immediately look to cover their interests and not yours. Even if you loved one is not dead yet, they will position themselves. My ex girlfriends mother was dying of cancer years ago. This happened to them.
    Financial intuitions will not talk to you unless you have legal authority. They will NOT give a shit. Make sure all wills are properly signed/updated and have copies. Institutions will do their due diligence and this can take time. Especially if one of the spouses is living. It can be hard as I have mentioned above. Everyday stuff like bills etc.

    The hard part is you may be emotionally compromised. Dealing with this stuff it can be hard to make a sensible decision. People can tend to react emotionally and make stupid decisions financially. Ive seen it happen.
    The amount of times ive bent the rules slightly to take care of my clients so the bank would not bumrush them has made me wonder sometimes.
    Your loved ones home, assets and investments will be appealing to the institution or any. After so many years it may be worth a fuckton of moolaaa. The banks will smell this and doggy to you. They will lick your ass and tell you it tastes like freshly made Pan Au chocolaaa. They may even have some specialized estate handling department. Don’t fall for it.
    Go through the will and get the immediate stuff sorted. Once the dust has settled and emotions have calmed, then address those long term things like what to do with assets.
    After dealing with so many estates and seeing how the banks will do not give a fuck. I got on the phone and made a international call to my parents right away. I asked to get their paperwork in order. It was a eye opener. Don’t get me wrong, clients can be stupid and manipulative too.

    Lastly. What are their wishes. Burn /bury and where. Both my parents differ to what they want done with their ashes. This will be in the will of course. But small details can be crucial.

    Relationships and vampires:
    Who to contact when a loved one passes. List of people and what to do. Contacting the local church, temple etc.
    Last but not least. Remember you loved ones were teens and young adults at one point too. Ask them about stories. People they know, things that happened. This is crucial, it helps to understand why relationships are the way they are today.
    This is because when they get sick. The vampires will come. Family, blood or not. Does not mean anything. Ive seen it. Ive seen horrific things sibling have tried to do to gain access to money and assets.
    So understanding your parent’s/loved one’s relationships with people and why they are like that will be crucial when it comes to dealing with them after.

    Also if you can now. Scan and backup old photographs and videos. It really means a lot. By pure chance I found a old damaged photo of my parents that I did not know existed.

    If my post is repetitive, I apologize. I just seen too much bullshit when people have died and loved ones are at their most vulnerable.

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    This is bang on. When my grandma passed, it was such a shit show for my dad to sort through all her records as well as find her apparently non existent will. Dementia is a real bear to deal with.

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    This is such a useful thread, thank you guys for all your feedback - I hope it is a resource for others as well.

    Originally posted by arian_ma
    your stomach is full of sulfuric acid

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    IANAL but I went through this recently myself.

    1) Figure out what documents you would want: will (for your wishes after you die), power of attorney (for financial matters when you're incapacitated), or personal directive (health decisions when you're incapacitated) is basically how I understand it.

    2) Who will be your trustee? Do you have an alternate in the event your chosen trustee is unable to or refuses?

    3) Beneficiary or Beneficiaries. This could be percentages or specific things.

    4) Any specific requests in your Will?

    5) There are clauses that can specify if you wish to be cremated, buried, etc. Is this important to you? Would you like something like this mentioned in the Will? If so, please advise of your wishes.

    6) For myself, I am putting together a personal balance sheet to list all my assets and liabilities including the company and account number for each item. I hope to update this annually. A copy of my balance sheet to go with my will to hopefully make it easier on my executor.

    7) I have a copy of all the documents going to my trustee/executor and my alternate and I've told them I'm keeping the originals in my safety deposit box and in my personal files.

    For everyone named in your documents, you'll want their full name, the city and province they live in and their relation to you.

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    Originally posted by HiTempguy1
    Also, MAKE SURE YOU KNOW WHERE THIS INFORMATION IS!

    My parents have a folder in a small safe that details all this information, their wishes in case of death or traumatic brain injury, etc etc.

    It does no good if all this work is done but you don't know where the info is.
    MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE CODE TO THE SAFE TOO! Does no good if you can't open it

    Yea this can be a nightmare if things aren't squared away.

    Should also get all your crap sorted at our ages. Nothing worse than having the wrong beneficiary on your insurance or having no one.

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    Originally posted by J-hop


    MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE CODE TO THE SAFE TOO! Does no good if you can't open it

    Yes You are absolutely correct haha. It's the smallest, little things that can completely cause these situations to spiral out of control though. Everyone wants a piece of your parents estate because people are assholes. So many bad stories, stories of friends, stories of extended family just being complete shit over this sort of thing.
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    Originally posted by HiTempguy1


    Yes You are absolutely correct haha. It's the smallest, little things that can completely cause these situations to spiral out of control though. Everyone wants a piece of your parents estate because people are assholes. So many bad stories, stories of friends, stories of extended family just being complete shit over this sort of thing.
    No doubt. All I want is enough to cover the basics. Funeral costs and some to cover at least a bit of the inheritance tax on our cabin would be nice. I don't want to profit off my parents death, that is disgusting.

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    Aside from money you can get a Goal of Care packet from Alberta Health Services. There's a form to list your wishes for care, and another form appointing someone to make the decisions for you. It takes the pressure off family members, and can also avoid fighting regarding life support etc.
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    Not really technical stuff, but my wife brought this up to me once.....If there is something you love that your parents cook...get the recipes. It never really donned on me, but there are some specialty foods my mom makes that she does from memory and I never had as tasty anywhere else, or at all, and it would be sad if that went with them and could never be truly recreated.

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    Originally posted by eblend
    Not really technical stuff, but my wife brought this up to me once.....If there is something you love that your parents cook...get the recipes. It never really donned on me, but there are some specialty foods my mom makes that she does from memory and I never had as tasty anywhere else, or at all, and it would be sad if that went with them and could never be truly recreated.
    Holy shit. This!!

    Ive been learning recipes from my parents. Same, a lot of the stuff is from memory.

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    Already did that, got grandma to show me how to make her apple pie.

    An apple pie a day keeps the doctor away.

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    As I sit here in the hospital watching the 3 nurses with a crash cart check if I'm really allergic to penicillin, by running an IV of it into me...

    If you're one of those people with an allergy from your childhood - find out how you reacted. Rash vs anyphalaxis is kinda important to know.

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    If I need to create a will, do I need a lawyer or can this be done online?

    My parents forgot, I don't know anything or anyone about it.

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    This isn't only info you should have of your parents, but they (and your spouse) should have of you. Death can be a real pricktard, he might wipe you and your spouse out in a car wreck leaving your old folks to figure out all your banking stuff, will info, etc.

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