Prepare with Family as you get Older
Dear Les Is More:
A few weeks ago my friend’s father had to go to the hospital. My friend went to his home (he is a widower) to pick up a few things. The place, although clean was disorganized with paper all over the dining room table. It seemed paper was everywhere and you could hardly step around it without knocking something down. I’m turning 60 next year, (my husband died a few years ago) and do not want the same thing to happen when it is my time. What can I do?
This is a great question and the easy answer is: Make sure everyone in the family knows your parents’ wishes…and please don’t fight over the blender. But the more difficult answer is: When someone dies, your emotions are high and the guilt of doing too much, not enough or just enough is also heightened…and decisions are made with these high emotions. These are some ways to not have the guilt and emotion ruin your relationships with family members over the mundane items in your house.
Have a family meeting where you are in control of everything and ask each child what they want in the house. If there are the same answers to different items, YOU choose who gets it. But, I would write it all in a will. Make sure you also have given one of your children powers of attorney and please sign a living will. Remember it’s just stuff as the great Peter Walsh, professional organizer says. If there are important items you want certain children to have, leave it in your will or give the possessions to the people now.
Also, contact a lawyer and put everything in writing. You and your family will be glad you did.
Dear Les Is More:
Recently, I was looking in my mother’s attic and found a large group of drawings. My mother told me to take them-but what do I do with them? They are not my taste and I feel bad if I just tossed them away.
I would find out who the artist is and look up what the drawings are worth. If you cannot find anything on the internet that gives you this; call a local museum and speak to the curator. The curator will tell you what your next steps are. This way you can make an informed decision since you will have all of the facts. Who knows, you might have found a great treasure.
To book Leslie Jacobs for speaking engagements or professional organizing please email her at Leslie@lesmess.com.