File that in the “When I’m Dead File” ~

To be honest, I don’t have a When I’m Dead File – yet.  But apparently I need one and apparently, as someone who has continued to live with my head planted firmly in the sand, I don’t give as much thought to the “when I’m dead” side of life as I should… at my age, because I’m, you know… getting OLD.  My kids already know not to expect any sudden windfalls when I leave this planet.  In fact, my standard line is something I stole from an old Moms Mabley joke I heard on TV 25 years ago… “It won’t be a happy day for anybody when I die”.  I used to threaten them with talk like “You get the car payment and you get my Nordstrom bill”.  Funny then.  Now, maybe not so much.

This topic came up while driving in the car the other evening with the hubs and my sister who’s visiting from Saipan.  Sis says, casually from the back seat, that she already has lists for me – all over her house.  What do to when she’s dead lists.   La La La La…hmmmm.  I do not want to discuss the possibility of either of us having to sort through the remains of each others’ life.  Too morbid.  Not now.  We’re on our way to dinner for God’s sake.  But she got me thinking and that always leads to trouble.  It’s a whole new world, too, with everything we now do online.  Think about it.   Online banking and bill paying are one thing, but even more important – who takes care of your place in the social media world when you are no longer around to post your own updates on Facebook or Linked In?  How do you gracefully shut down someone’s page and is that even possible if you can’t access their profile?   Does that person live on in Facebook limbo for all time?  Who sends out your last blog post?  Believe it or not, I could not find an answer to these questions when I googled them.   So, add this to the list…

My online search did come up with a great article on the Second Act blog entitled “10 Things For Your When I’m Dead File”.  Some of the things on the list were pretty obvious but, if you’re like me, it’s the little details that you tend to gloss over.  This list is a great reminder (or starting point for some of us). It was definitely the little kick-in-the-pants I needed to start getting my own house in order.

So, I’m working on a plan.  Here’s what I have so far ~

1.  Downsize now.  That’s where the whole “If it doesn’t fit in the backpack and rollie, do we really need it” idea first came into play.   How many blenders, waffle irons and crepe makers that we use once a year do we really need?  I posted about our trip to the Goodwill a while back and we’re still going strong in this area.

2.  Start my own When I’m Dead File.  This file should contain everything from the obvious (Will) to the little things you don’t even think about (gym membership) and everything in between.  The 10 Thing List is now printed and taped on the wall in my office.

3.  Have the Talk.  Let my important people know where The File is and, (note to self) for goodness sake, keep it up to date.

Whew!   Frankly, I’m exhausted just thinking about all of this but I’m so glad my sister brought it up.   It’s not much, but it is a start and a plan where no plan had ever been before.  And, it is much better to get started now, while I can still remember where we’ve stashed all those important papers and numbers.

Oh, and one more thing.  If you see my picture pop up on Facebook long after I’ve left this life, please leave me a comment and let me know what’s new.  Or at least click “Like”.  You never know…


6 thoughts on “File that in the “When I’m Dead File” ~

  1. I just had one of those “why are you making me think about this?” nudges today. We lent both of our sons money to buy their homes and in drawing up the loan agreements, the lawyer wanted to know what we wanted to do about the loans if we die before they’re paid back. “Um, I dunno.”

    We already did #1 on your list—downsize. I was the moving force behind that one–selling the house in the burbs and moving to a rental apartment. My husband was in shock, but is really happy we did it. When you have been married for 30 years and have a wedding present you still haven’t used, chances are you didn’t really need a covered fish plate.

    I’ll add another item. Make sure your living wills are in the folder and discuss with your children, spouse, whomever, what you want to submit to medically. When do you want the plug pulled—or better yet, not plugged in to begin with? My parents refused to have this talk which put me in the position of having to preside over my father’s death. Even when I was actively mourning, I also had a tinge of resentment that he left those decisions to me. (While you’re at it, let them know how you want your remains to be dealt with.) At least I knew my father wanted to be cremated.

    Why am I writing this comment right before I go to bed!?!?!

    • Thanks for the comment and the very important addition of medical/end of life decisions. Really, it is one more gift we can give our loved ones by removing the pressure of these type of decisions. It seems there are a large number of us “boomers” going through this and I hope we can keep the dialogue going. I hope you still slept well.

  2. A very important topic. My parents just had the talk with me last month. I now know where all the papers are, and I’ve even gone through them. Still, it’s daunting.

    • Thanks for the comment! Good for your parents. I’ll do that as well once I get everything together.

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