Tag Archives: estates

The journey of a loved one’s ‘hard-earned’ earnings

Today we finally received a check for the funds in one of my dad’s bank accounts. It’s not a huge sum, but certainly it is very useful right now as Mom struggles with her own illness and growing medical bills.

The funds were from Dad’s IRA accounts, opened up when I was just a little girl in California. All of those long, tedious hours Dad worked as a freight checker for a trucking company finally have reached their zenith. Little by little, he faithfully placed funds out of each paycheck into these accounts. And now that financial symbol of all of his hard works rests in my Mom’s hands.

From Dad’s hands to our mailbox, the legacy of a lifetime of work is typed onto a piece of paper, to transform into additional numbers in my mom’s bank account. Of course, Dad being a faithful breadwinner means much more to me than a check. It was how he expressed his love for his family.

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Custodian for the dead

Today, I went over Dad’s savings and IRA accounts that are still tied up in the afterlife limbo. We could definitely use that money right now, considering mom’s precarious health at the moment. Unfortunately, most of these accounts did not have beneficiary information filled out, and Dad never got around to doing a will before his dementia set in.

All of that creates a world of trouble for those that have to come in and clean up the loose ends.

Mountains of paperwork. Legal hoops to jump through, and paying big bucks for the lawyer to set up those hoops for you. And then if you are lucky enough to obtain the funds rightfully due to you, then you must consider the tax consequences of your financial decisions.

I just received an email reminder, an annual note to update my beneficiaries of my 401(k) if necessary. Hopefully, future generations will take these electronic reminders seriously. Not having to deal with bureaucratic red tape is almost as valuable as the money itself.

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