My dad passed away last week after a lengthy illness. It was actually a blessing and relief for both him and my mom as well. Along with my siblings, I helped my mom plan the funeral and it was definitely eye-opening in terms of how much it costs to die. Not for the departed, obviously, but for those left behind. Fortunately, I come from frugal savers so my mom was well prepared for the funeral expenses and will be fine financially. Dad was 84, she will be 75 soon and they always put aside some of what they earned and invested over the years. My 8yo DD asked me if Grandma would have to go back to work now that Grandpa had died. I said no. She said, then how will Grandma get money for food, clothes etc. I explained to her that Grandma and Grandpa had always saved some of their money and she did not have to worry about Grandma having money for food. I was surprised to hear her voice this concern - usually her only interest in money is what she can buy with whatever is in her piggy bank. Anyway, mom was well prepared and organized and I found this such a relief after what we had gone thru a few years back with my DH's mother. She had terminal cancer and was given 6 months to live. She refused to discuss her will, documents etc, just saying, don't worry, it is all taken care off, everything is in the safe. None of her children wanted to upset her, so they avoided the subject. When she did pass away, her husband (DH and brothers step-father) suddenly could not remember the combination to the safe. Her will mysteriously disappeared, and the only papers that could be found listed him as sole beneficiary of everything. Long story short, after more than an year of legal wrangling, they settled out of court for an amount that basically covered her funeral expenses and all the court costs. Her husband got everything else. It was a nightmare for her sons and could have easily been prevented had someone been willing to "upset" her by discussing things ahead of time. In the case of my dad, my mom knew what he wanted, all paperwork was organized and she had already let me know where everything was just in case anything were to happen to her first. Definitely better to be organized and deal with the reality as opposed to hiding your head in the sand. Sure, the person who is dead does not have to worry, but is grief and strife really the legacy anyone wants to leave? In my dad's case, with everything being clear and organized, we were able to celebrate his life and will move on from there.
Dying is Expensive
July 17th, 2007 at 05:05 pm