- Your Adult Kids will step up and do what needs to be done. Let them. They will give you strength and comfort as their spouses comfort them. They will use their talents and resources to make things happen. They will shield you when necessary….but give you that push you may need at other times. They will give balance to decision making; knowing when to take over ….and when to step back and respect your choices. My son and daughter were hit hard with the loss of their Dad and their kids’ grandfather. I’m still amazed at how well we got through it and have never been prouder of my children.
- Ownership of credit cards, vehicles and houses make a BIG difference in the debt and varying shades of red tape you’ll face! Two of our cards were in his name only; I was an authorized user. I don’t recall us ever considering this or being asked any preference. Visa was quick to write off the balance; American Express not so much. They inquired regularly about the estate, but the calls finally stopped when my lawyer explained there was no estate; no probate. Collection calls are frightening; know your rights and seek legal help if necessary. Our cars and home were in both our names…..with the house having the important “joint tenancy with survivorship” clause in the contract!
- Finances I had to think about money. I sold his car and refinanced the house; reducing my payments by $600! My husband was retired, but did free-lance writing for several publications. I would miss that income, so I had to make changes quickly. His insurance money came within weeks; but it took awhile to secure results with Social Security and our pensions because frankly…..it didn’t occur to me for months to pick up the phone; and the processing took more time. Stopping newspaper subscriptions, reducing cable, phone and internet to the minimum needs… and discontinuing pest, weed and lawn services helped make a dent in monthly expenses. Doing without car washes, hair appointments, Starbucks or browsing Target taught me I could live frugally while waiting to get things settled! Someone told me it takes a year to really know where you stand with your financial future, so I continue to be wise and careful.
Continue reading this post on Joan Stommen’s blog, Gramcracker Crumbs