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Up Topic Communities / Women / What's on Your Mind Wednesday NRR
- - By gophergirl [us] Date 2017-11-22 9:11 AM
What's on your mind today?
Parent - - By gophergirl [us] Date 2017-11-22 9:16 AM
Appointment with chiro this morning to deal with SI and hip issue that has flared over the past few weeks, acupuncture and graston and feeling a little better. Now to start on the to do list of making a Thanksgiving meal to bring tomorrow. Chiro is also a friend and we were talking about how this is jus the start of my 10 weeks of stress and family thanks to holidays and birthdays. This year DH and I have decided to just take winter vacation without my parents to remove one family event but too much family over the next 10 weeks.
Started making Christmas cards and was considering writing one of those year in review letters to go in, at least to send to family, but do people actually read or care about these?
Parent - - By skigirl Date 2017-11-22 9:31 AM
I like getting those letters.  I always think I would like to do one from our family, including photos from all the cool things we do, but I never get around to it.
Parent - By gophergirl [us] Date 2017-11-22 9:35 AM
Same here, but I always think about it too late but actually am starting to plan ahead this year!
Parent - By reebs (chicken whisperer) Date 2017-11-22 10:28 AM
I like those letters, especially from the more distant relatives who I still care about.  It is fun to watch the kids grow up through those letters.  Although, my cousin always put "cute things the kids said" in the letters.  It got less cute when they were teenagers!
Parent - - By easternshoregir [us] Date 2017-11-22 11:10 AM
I like the letters too, especially if they come from people I don't see much.

My parents get one every year that is ridiculous though. The couple writes it from the perspective of their cat. It is funny but kind of weird sometimes, when they are talking about hip replacements and things like is also a full 2 pages. I think that is a little long! But even though I don't really know those people, I always read it for entertainment!
Parent - - By SRoo Date 2017-11-22 1:02 PM
Yeah, I think cats are a bit more concise.  Now a dog might prattle on for 2 pages!
Parent - By ironjen Date 2017-11-23 7:52 AM
Parent - By tritri Date 2017-11-22 12:27 PM
I like the letters.  I even read them at my MIL's, when I don't know the people!  One year a number of noteworthy events happened, so I did one that year, and fashioned it like a newspaper.  We both lost and found jobs, found a dog, and there was a 48 inch snow storm!   Since then it seems there is nothing much to report.  I haven't sent out cards in years.
Parent - By Zipper [us] Date 2017-11-22 12:46 PM
Here is hoping the hip is improving!
Parent - By Arimathea [us] Date 2017-11-22 9:03 PM
I like getting those letters, though I have not done one in years.
Parent - - By easternshoregir [us] Date 2017-11-22 11:04 AM
Just popping in to say hi! I'm forcing myself to sit down and get a little rest.
I did a bunch of cooking and organizing in the morning.

I'm making my first turkey tomorrow! Any suggestions? I plan to thaw it today (in cold water) and then brine it overnight (DH's request). I have to go pick up a roasting pan from my sister this was just decided on Saturday that the ILs are coming here tomorrow!
Even if the turkey doesn't turn out well, we will have a lot of yummy sides, that's what I've been working on today.
Parent - - By classicsnerd [us] Date 2017-11-22 11:34 AM
Hi!  I'm using this recipe: hoping it works! I've heard brining is a delicious way to go too.  I'm only on my second time making a turkey, and the last time was several years ago.

29 weeks!  :hug:
Parent - By easternshoregir [us] Date 2017-11-22 12:24 PM
Hm...that looks awesome. I am now leaning towards trying it that way instead!
ETA: I think I might just switch out the parsley for thyme instead...parsley isn't my favorite flavor.
Parent - - By Nomad Date 2017-11-22 12:38 PM
I think Freps brines hers so you might want to reach out for tips. I know her Thanksgiving turkey dinners are a-mazing. Hmm, maybe I should jump on a plane tonight & gate crash :laugh:
Parent - - By easternshoregir [us] Date 2017-11-22 1:01 PM
Wow, a search took me back to 2008!!!!
Check out this thread, y'all. I don't think I was really active here on Womens back then, I was probably mostly fraternizing with the Marathons crew.
Parent - By Nomad Date 2017-11-22 1:28 PM
Wow. Memories...lots of people missing since then :hug:
Parent - By SRoo Date 2017-11-22 2:11 PM
That thread is hysterical!  :laugh::laugh:
Parent - By classicsnerd [us] Date 2017-11-22 2:23 PM
Omg that thread :laugh: :laugh:
Parent - By swandive Date 2017-11-22 3:44 PM
Parent - By Arimathea [us] Date 2017-11-22 9:22 PM
Wow. I just dry brine the turkey now and then roast it and baste the shit out of it every 20 minutes.
Parent - By gophergirl [us] Date 2017-11-23 7:01 AM
Parent - By Arimathea [us] Date 2017-11-22 9:14 PM
Freps lives in a place where you can leave the turkey on the back porch in a tub of brine.

I do not live in such a place. Dry brining it is.
- - By skigirl Date 2017-11-22 11:03 AM
I have some heavy stuff on my mind today and need some advice.

My dad is 81.  My parents split up in 1986 and since then he has lived alone apart from short periods where either my brother or I have lived with him.  He lives in a two-bedroom apartment, which he bought when he retired in 2001 and absolutely loves, in a small city south of Vancouver.

For the last few years he has been sending me info on, say, his personal directive or the memorial society he has contracted to handle his funeral, etc., and I have always been <fingers in ears> LA-LA-LA-LA because I don't want to hear about it.  :blush:  Also, some of the information changes over time - I will get a flurry of emails changing this or that term in his personal directive, for example - and I find it hard to keep track. 

I visited him last weekend and it hit me hard that, cognitively and physically, he has declined a lot in the past few months.  He has just been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.  He is also finding it harder than ever to follow conversations - cognitively, I mean, not because of his hearing difficulties - and remember things.  He has less energy than when I last visited him, in July, and is sleeping a lot more.  I guess I have to admit that he is not going to live forever - not that I think he will die in the next few months, but still.  It's coming.

Family dynamics: my brother and I barely know each other so sorting things out together after my father's death will likely be challenging.  My brother is sole executor.  So I'm thinking that I need to start talking with my dad now about - where is your most recent personal directive?  Who is going to call me if something happens (he has an emergency service that responds if he has a fall and checks on him)?  Do you want a funeral, or a memorial service, and if so, where, and what songs do you want, and are there any readings you want, etc.? 

I'm going back to visit him next week, capitalising on a work trip I'm taking anyway to spend a couple of extra days with him.  I know I need to start the conversation, but I'm not even sure what all I need to ask him.  Wise forum women: what do I need to know?  What do you wish your parents had told you, or would tell you?
Parent - By easternshoregir [us] Date 2017-11-22 11:08 AM
I think you're doing a good thing, skigirl. I don't have experience with this really, I just know where my parents' paperwork is for all this stuff.
My parents are in their 60s but my dad's brother recently died, so I am guessing they have been thinking about it more.
My mom's dad is 88 and in fair health. (89? I'm losing track!) I know he has all the stuff for after his death squared away and documented.
So, no real advice, just here to support you!
Parent - - By Zipper [us] Date 2017-11-22 12:54 PM
The time to start talking with both your dad and your brother is now. Being an executor is hard work; discuss your dad's wishes with him now and find out if you two are both on the same page about all the various issues. Taxes. Bequests. What to do with the real estate. Make sure you two are in agreement and consult with your dad as needed about any questions. Let dad update his will as needed.

You want to know, among many other things, the approximate value of his estate, and the approximate tax bill expected. Does he have enough in cash to cover the taxes that will be assessed? If not, will you need to sell or cash in assets like stocks or real estate to cover everything? If real estate needs to be sold, how will that be handled? By auction? Also, do you have lists of all the non-real-estate assets and accounts, with info on how to access the accounts after his death? Can any of his assets be converted right now into a trust for future generations to reduce the tax liability?

That is just a start. Estates can be very complicated.
Parent - - By SRoo Date 2017-11-22 1:32 PM
I'm not sure she needs to talk to him about selling assets after his death.  Because people often have impractical ideas.  Sure it would be great to keep the farm in the family forever, but what if no one farms and no one even lives in the same state?  Oops, personal experience might have crept in there.
Parent - - By Nomad Date 2017-11-22 1:48 PM
My mother: We've written our Wills so that you can keep the cottage after we're gone. We thought you'd like it as a seaside getaway
My brother: :meh:
Me: From Canada? :wtf: :roll:
My mother: Oh. We really love it, we thought you did too
Me: :roll::roll:
My brother (aka the nice one): We love that you love it
My father: you're going to sell it the minute we're gone aren't you
Me: And you'll have mortgaged it the week before and given the money to charity, won't you?
My father: :cool:
Parent - - By SRoo Date 2017-11-22 1:56 PM

Hopefully they'll sell it and give the money to charity so you don't have to deal with it! :happy:
Parent - - By Nomad Date 2017-11-22 2:19 PM
I swear my father will spend his last pound (dollar) the day before he dies then spend a little the day of just so I have a pay a debt :laugh:
Parent - - By SRoo Date 2017-11-22 3:23 PM
I like him!  :cool:  My parents are thrifty and save money whenever possible.  Buying generic peanut butter is one thing, not going to the emergency room because they have a $50 copay is another.  :sad:  I will add that all this thriftiness means that the copay does not present a financial obstacle.
Parent - By Nomad Date 2017-11-22 3:36 PM
He's a big believer in having spent time/money while he's alive ensuring that we have all possible opportunities thus needing to leave us nothing. I find I appreciate this now a lot more than I did when I was a destitute student :laugh: At this stage, with no children as dependents, both my brother & I are 100% signed up to the fact that we will inherit a few items of sentimental value and nothing monetary.

Similarly my brother is aware that I will likely leave him nothing although my Will needs updating as previously noted, which I'm not planning to do until I'm sure which country I'll end up in. Per UK law, although the size of my estate means it would have to go through probate, it states that if I don't leave a Will everything goes to my parents (both being alive and still married to each other. Should one die it would go to the other, should both die everything goes to my brother).

My parents are thrifty but not to a crazy extent. One of my favourite memories of my father is speaking with him from my first overseas assignment & explaining how well I was doing saving money each month, and him stopping me to gently confirm that I was spending enough to have fun as well :hug: I'm now partially financing their purchase in the retirement community & it feels good to be able to pay back.
Parent - By Arimathea [us] Date 2017-11-22 9:37 PM
I read a book that said "spend it all and bounce the check that's supposed to pay the undertaker. What are they going to do, exhume the corpse?"
Parent - - By moonglow9 Date 2017-11-22 2:21 PM
This is what my mum is doing with the house that she got from *her* mum - she is never going to use it and doesn't want me to have to deal with it (I don't want it either) - so selling and off with the money to charity it is. We just want things as streamlined as possible.
Parent - - By SRoo Date 2017-11-22 3:02 PM
My mom has some land that was given to cousins.  And when one cousin dies, his/her share is inherited by his/her children.  :cry:  What a mess.  There must be close to 30 people who own that land!
Parent - - By moonglow9 Date 2017-11-22 3:27 PM
Ooof. My father is going through this with his parents' house. Note they died over 25 years ago.... and he and his 5 siblings (well, in some cases the deceased siblings' multiple children who all inherit a share of their parents' share... compounding the heirs involved) are squabbling over the house. Much to do with the challenges of selling it when it is not clearly registered in everyone's name, problems of some who think they have more right to it than others, having it be many many thousands of miles away from siblings/siblings' children.... Some want to donate proceeds to charity, some want to pocket it, some want to gauge the others... all the people who have a stake in that house, and yet no one has lived in it really since my grandparents died. And they are all fussing over it.
A lesson to have the estate all settled before death, and the problems of listing multiple people as inheriting....
Parent - - By Nomad Date 2017-11-22 3:37 PM
Parent - - By moonglow9 Date 2017-11-22 3:44 PM
Indeed. Were I in my father's position, I'd just ask that my share be 'deleted' and absorbed into the common pool so that I could be out of the picture. I wouldn't want whatever percent of the proceeds I'd get...too much headache and stress for what it would be worth. Just take it and leave me alone would be my view.
ETA: I've had my will, medical directive, power of attorney, and all death/funeral plans set for years. Like you, I have no one likely to inherit, so it is just a matter of disposing of it all and having the legal execution of the documents done....
Parent - By reebs (chicken whisperer) Date 2017-11-22 5:41 PM
What your dad is going through is all too typical.  My father and his siblings had something similar when their mother (my grandmother) died. The fights over STUFF were amazing.  Some wanted the stuff to use it and for memories, others to sell it so they could make money.  My parents tried to buy some of the sentimental stuff off dad's sisters, but eventually had to let go.  Sad to see it go on e-bay (my aunt's user name on ebay was "makemerichest"). But at some point, one has to let go.  Fortunately, my brother and I each got to select one thing from the house, and so I have a small set of art I love.
Parent - - By reebs (chicken whisperer) Date 2017-11-22 1:20 PM
There are checklists and guides for having these conversations and what to talk about. My SIL shared one that she used with her  mom and dad and that we've used with my parents.  I'll see if I can find it. But google might help you, too.
Parent - By reebs (chicken whisperer) Date 2017-11-22 2:49 PM
Here is the one my SIL used for advanced directive

I thought she used some estate planning communication stuff too
Parent - By NotSoFast [ca] Date 2017-11-22 6:52 PM
There is a hilarious one called "Lets Talk about Something More Pleasant"....:laugh:
Parent - - By SRoo Date 2017-11-22 1:30 PM
My heart goes out to you.  This is hard.  You need to start keeping track of all the information he has given to you and you need to read it.

I think there are several separate issues.
1.  Your father's health and well-being now.  Can he live by himself?  What are his plans when/if he is no longer able to do so?  Does he have some advanced directives set up as to what type of health care measures he would like?
2.  Finances during his life.  Can he pay his own bills, etc.?  Meaning can he afford it and can he manage to write the check correctly?
3.  Funeral details.
4.  Estate details.  If your brother is sole executor this is his problem.  Except that things are not that easy.  Hopefully the will is written simply and you and your brother can agree on details such as selling property and who gets that knickknack/priceless trinket.

Focus on 1 and 2.  3 is in my opinion not as important.  We are all going to die and we could sit down right now and list songs and readings.  But most of us don't do that because it isn't that important.  On the other hand, most of us have life insurance and wills (right, people?).  The financial details of the estate are harder to figure out, but ask for lists of accounts (you don't need to know amounts now unless he needs help managing) and locations of documents like wills and insurance policies and safe deposit boxes.  I recommend sending your brother a copy of all these documents.  Once 1, 2, and 4 are taken care of, then ask about 3.
Parent - By Nomad Date 2017-11-22 1:56 PM
Good post :hug:

I would add that since you & your brother aren't close you might want to let him know of any knickknack requests etc. up front. We've found that really helpful and enabled me to get some items that otherwise no-one would've known I wanted (and obviously I was out of the country when houses were cleared etc.) My parents have just decided to buy into a retirement community and it's agreed that my trip back next July will include stating what, if anything, I would like from the furniture/ornaments before they pack up.

Related question: does anyone have a go-to on what to write down for others? This is obviously for me as I have no-one close who knows my financial affairs, passwords etc. and I'm not sure what I should have as a package for an executor (probably a lawyer) to be able to sort everything out across 3 countries.

And good reminder SRoo that I need to update my Will (don't need life insurance) - the UK has a really easy no-Will-required way of determining beneficiaries but I've maxed out the estate value that it applies to.
Parent - By moonglow9 Date 2017-11-22 2:29 PM
Agree that 1 and 2 are the most pressing, but 4 might be an issue if he has not settled these and might not be able to do so in the coming months/years. Perhaps encourage him to get 4 sorted out whilst still of sound mind etc. There might be details that need resolution or checking for consistency.
Parent - By SRoo Date 2017-11-22 1:54 PM
Replying separately to the question of what I wish my parents would tell me:

They recently sent health care directives to each of the kids and made of us all shared power of attorney and executors and stuff.  They have a will.  At some point they had a list of assets with account numbers and passwords, but I am not sure where that is located.  I should know that, and I think my brothers have that information. The will is straightforward as far as I know, but it will be difficult to figure out how to divide things equally and what to do with the accumulated stuff.

The health care paperwork is useful, but their actions are at odds with some of the directives.  For example, I think Mom wants to battle for every second while Dad wants more dignity.  The forms are identical.

I wish they would think about where they want to live when they can no longer live independently.  I wish they would tell me their thoughts on this.

I don't know of any funeral information.  This would be useful to me, but not so much in terms of making things better for them.
Parent - - By cowboyjunkie Date 2017-11-22 2:19 PM
In addition to what others have written, if he is in a position to pre-pay his funeral, that is really helpful. My mom had all that in place so when she died, it was just a matter of calling the place (she was in hospice at the end) and signing a few papers to authorize cremation etc. Depending on how complicated his financial situation is, one thing that helped a lot (mainly to avoid probate), was to be listed jointly on her bank accounts. Once she died, it was just a matter of going to the bank with a death certificate to update the accounts to my name only.
Parent - By moonglow9 Date 2017-11-22 2:22 PM
Agree with all of this. We've set things up similarly, and I expect it to be a huge help when the time comes.
Parent - By skigirl Date 2017-11-23 11:03 AM
Oh, the bank account thing - that's helpful, thanks.
Parent - By SRoo Date 2017-11-22 4:44 PM
Me again.  I just read a story on the NPR website and it linked to The Conversation Project.
Parent - By NotSoFast [ca] Date 2017-11-22 6:58 PM
I would say to have this conversation now, if you can digitally record it so much the better while he is still cognitive enough. Once someone slides into dementia things can be very strange.
My mom just died Sunday, and thankfully she did not have any dementia at all up to the end (she suffered a heart attack and had a DNR) and had expressed her wishes very cleanly to all involved so we knew she did not want anyone coming to a hospital, she had a DNR, she wanted hospice and no service or funeral. As hard as it is to not go rushing to your mom's side when you know she will die soon, my brother and I respected her wishes to pass with no fanfare and no one there besides Hospice. She will be cremated and not sure what with the remains. We may bring them to our family plot we now have here where Evan resides. Yes now we have a full family plot. DH went and secured 6 burial sites and room for 6 more cremation urns in the benches next to the sites. I am still a bit :roll::roll::roll: over it all but his logic is he never wants anyone to have to make the kind of decisions he had to make when Evan passed, trying to figure out what to do. Well now it is there for Gavin, me, him, Mike and others if they want it.
Parent - By Arimathea [us] Date 2017-11-22 9:33 PM
My dad really didn't say much, though he and my mum had the "Five Wishes" documents to impart important things for us.

I would ask him "what do I need to know? What do you think I should know?"
Parent - - By skigirl Date 2017-11-22 10:29 PM
Thanks so much, everyone, for all this advice and support.  I've been checking in through the day and reading stuff, with the intention of replying, but every time I read your posts my emotions go "woooofffff" and I have to go away and process it all.  While it's tremendously helpful and therapeutic to get my feelings out in the open and get so much helpful advice, at the same time it makes me realise that this is really happening and I do really have to step up.

I did manage to write to a few people today asking for recommendations of a good real estate lawyer and got two strong leads, so I can set up an appointment with one of them and start finding out some of what I need to know - one of the things he's most worried about is whether he can transfer the title on his condo to my brother and me, but he doesn't feel capable to researching this on his own, so I will take that on.
Parent - - By Nomad Date 2017-11-23 8:03 AM
Good idea on the lawyer - I know in the UK you end up paying tax on any gift (e.g. a condo) if the giver dies within 7 years. The government can also require you to sell a property to cover nursing home fees (if otherwise you were asking the government to pay) - lots of people hate this because of wanting to leave the property to the next generation so they put someone else on the title years in advance.
Parent - By skigirl Date 2017-11-23 11:02 AM
Yeah I think the nursing home thing is an issue here too.
Parent - - By SRoo Date 2017-11-23 9:49 AM
:hug:  This is hard. :sad: Let's try to do better for our kids.
Parent - By skigirl Date 2017-11-23 11:02 AM
Indeed.  :happy:
Parent - By gophergirl [us] Date 2017-11-23 7:04 AM
I think it was already mentioned but there are online lists of what needs to be signed, written, etc. Good luck with this and like others said now is the time to figure things out. :hug:
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