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OT/The ship has sailed...End of life planning

CLove's picture

Ive been going through some depression. Feelings of isolation, and feelings of not being good enough, not being this or that.

Its especially hard during the holidays, due to family issues and the fact that holidays are so child-centric and I dont have kids of my own. Theres even a term "childless not by choice". Egads. 

Im getting through it, but some things that have upset me just yesterday.

Husband went on another expensive fishing trip for his birthday. His birthday being veterans day. I did a post on social media with pictures, on his timeline, my timeline, and a group timeline "feed". There were mulitiple bday texts on the family text that I am included on.

OK, so what the heck am I stressing about and am I just making up things to be stressed about?

My grandfather died on his fishing boat. I know that fishing in the ocean especially can be fatal. You fall in and no one knows and its over. This time I was thinking all this, in 10 years its never been a thought. Not a single person in Husbands family worried when he did not respond to bday texts. He had zero cell phone coverage the time he was away Friday until Sunday. His daughters both texted him personally, and didnt seem worried by no response. No one in his family called or texted him personally. Not a single family member responded to the facebook posts I made. His family is LARGE as in high numbered.

This upset me last night. Maybe Im over thinking. It did make me think about what if something happens. I spoke of it, and Husband doesnt want to really make any plans, so I told him Ill make my own plans and they can all go eff themselves if Im going to be in charge of anything that happens to him. If and when.  Its always been a sore spot with me, how Husbands family seems to always disregard the spouses and nothing exists outside of them and "the Clan".

But they all sure lined up for the fish he texted about!!!

Ill get over it, Im just venting. I will definitely line up some documents and wills etc. Before the year is over.



Rags's picture

I am sorry you are struggling CLove.

Do get the docs lined up and filed. I know those things are difficult and cause a lot of deep introspection and disquiet.  They do for me.

As for DH and his tiptoe through the tulips of life's mine field with his head in the clouds, ugh.

Take care of you.

Give rose

CLove's picture

I am re-committing to doing for me now. Do it yourself wills and all that entails.

He doesnt care - "you get everything". Im thinking, "ok, then put that in writing and sign on the line".

Hastings's picture

I'm so sorry, CLove. I can understand why this distressed you -- and can definitely understand your frustration. People who fail to plan ahead are, essentially, being cruel to their loved ones. Fortunately, DH and I have plans well documented. Most of my family does, too. But my uncle (a lawyer who should have known better) didn't make a will or anything, leaving a huge mess for my aunt when he died unexpectedly.

CLove's picture

But Im committing myself to getting organized and everything written down and signed. All the different vehicles, the boats, and all that. Especially the life insurance. Its him being thoughtless, avoidant and lazy. He doesnt care what happens if he suddenly isnt around because he wont be around for the fall out.

JRI's picture

I wonder how many millions of people have deepening depression as the holidays approach.  We all, especially us StepTalkers, have difficult family members and it's harder during this time to disregard, disengage or ignore.   This time of year, with the ever-present happy family images on tv, make us wonder why ours does not match.  It also highlights what we don't have, like bio kids, happy marriage, living parents, all in beautifully decorated homes.

Dear Clove, yes, take care of your documents but otherwise, cut yourself plenty of slack for this next 6 weeks.   I finally acknowledged to myself that the last 6 weeks of the year is, by far, my most difficult time of the year.  I dont schedule doctor appointments, or anything else during this time.  I concentrate on what makes me happy (tree, music) and try to avoid or minimize the rest.  In January, I pick up my normal life again.

I hope you can have a peaceful and quiet time.  You'll feel better soon.


CLove's picture

Taking care of me will be my priority, as well as getting the ducks in the row that I always recomend for others.

Winterglow's picture

Clove, for your own security, please see a lawyer about this. You need to feel comfortable about your future. You have given way more to this "family" than they have ever had the decency to show gratitude for. Drag your DuH to sign the papers if necessary. He doesn't get to risk your future just because he's so damn self-absorbed and selfish and LAZY. His daughters will clean you out if you don't.

CLove's picture

Im not going to worry about his family and how they would feel if something happened. Spouses are not considered family, so I need to just remove myself completely.

His daughters, well he doesnt have any big assets except the house which I get since its joint tenancy with rights of survivorship. But there are bank accounts and vehicles.

Winterglow's picture

Consider how much you have invested in his "family", don't you think you deserve the money and cars? If he won't go with you, get the papers drawn up so he just has to sign them.

CLove's picture

Ive invested more than I think or really care to admit.

And they arent exactly nice to me, some of them even downright nasty.

But they all line up for the fish he catches.

ESMOD's picture

No one wants to talk about end of life planning.. but accidents can happen at any time.. to anybody... when it's sudden.. it would be even more distressing to your family to deal with.. why not just make that part easier.  No one is saying you have to prepay your burial costs.. but them knowing where the insurance policies are.. clear guidelines for property distribution... it needs to be in stone.

CLove's picture

And researching.

It is totally important and I dont know why I havent done this sooner. Guess I felt invincible!

Merry's picture

I have documents for the estate attorney sitting on my dining room table. For more than a year. We have existing wills that will suffice but want to update some details. It's all on me to do though. DH doesn't "do" business details. I don't get to opt out though because I'm the one who cares about it. 

I get so tired of being the grownup. 

CLove's picture

Im the one who bought the house. And refinanced. So this end of life planning and executing is all on me, he doesnt care...

Winterglow's picture

So STOP IT. Shake yourself up.GO AND SEE A Lawyer, dammit! You don't get to wallow in this crap. Don't let the bastards grind you down! He'll, CLove you've gone above and beyond! You DESERVE to be comfortable in the event that your DH passes. Please sign up for counseling today because I'm afraid you've been morally beaten down too often...

Rumplestiltskin's picture

Idk what the laws are in California, but in my state there is something called "forced heirship", where all kids below a certain age (24 i think) inherit regardless of marital status. You really should see a lawyer and get things straight. This type of thing is one of my main concerns when considering possible marriage. It's one thing if you marry young when both have nothing and all kids are joint kids. This midlife/skid stuff is something else. I don't blame you for being concerned. An attorney is your best bet. Your DH seems like he is handling this issue like he handles everything else - badly! 

CLove's picture

According to my reading, anything that isnt property or a life insurance like cars, boats, bank account monies, will be split evenly between any children and the surviving spouse if a will doesnt exist.

Ive made noises about gifting his daughters some amount, in the event of his death. Noises. I will see how I feel when it happens.

Right now Im thinking they dont get a dime.

Catmom024's picture

That's how it is in my state if there are no bio children with the spouse.  If the deceased is married to a spouse with whom they have bio children, then the spouse receives a lump sum FIRST, then the remainder is split amongst them and the bio children.  

Catmom024's picture

It's very important to have all those plans in writing.  Even if you're married because it will come in handy when other family members try to interfere.  Wills are so important,  and so is a power of attorney.

I've been with my SO for 21 years (not married).   He wants to be cremated.  We had to print out a legal document naming me as having permission and control when he passes away.  Otherwise it's all his children's decision and they will control everything.   

CLove's picture

Thats a whole different thing, I feel.

Im considering asking Husbands eldest sister to give me some ideas. They like to have the celebrations and things of that nature for closure.

AgedOut's picture

I don't have any words to help or even make you feel better but I want you to know you matter to me and I'm glad you're my friend. I'm always around should you need a shoulder or ear. 

CLove's picture

Thank you. This weekend was a struggle.

Thumper's picture

Great advise from everyone who chimmed in CLove---please call a lawyer TODAY and make an appointment. 


hereiam's picture

Clove, regarding bank accounts, cars, etc. that your name is not on, see if H can/will get a TOD (transfer on death) added to those. I believe it's common in most states. It avoids probate for those things.

Everything that we could add a TOD to, DH and I did. Even our house has a TOD, so after we both die, it automatically goes to another family member, NOT DH's daughters.

DH also has a notorized affidavit that his daughters were excluded on purpose, that it was not an oversight, and anyone who contests his will, gets nothing. We're not wealthy, there's really nothing to fight over, but you know how some vultures, I mean, people are.

We did not go to a lawyer, just found some templates online (for wills, power of attorneys, etc.), filled them out and had them notorized.

As long as TODs are added where applicable, and beneficiaries/contingent beneficiaries are in place where applicable, it's pretty simple (for us non-wealthy folks). I mean, other than the stuff in our house, everything is legally designated by a TOD or beneficiary. Our wills basically state that the surviving spouse gets everything, and when we both die, so-and-so gets everything. But, again, most everything is already legally allocated.

It will give you some peace of mine to get this all in place.

AlmostGone834's picture

So the good news is that if he doesn't care/you get everything... then all you have to do is get the paperwork filled out and have him sign it. It would be much more frustrating if he was insisting on leaving his daughters an inheritance of some sort. So take what he said and run with it. Get the paperwork in order and have him sign. That's what I had to do since my DH had no interest in setting anything up either apparently. I had to take the lead. Unfortunately we often have to look out for ourselves as SMs. 

As far as the childless not by choice... I cannot help you there as I am SO FREAKING HAPPY I decided not to have kids for a laundry list of personal reasons but maybe head over to the r/breakingmom Reddit group. I really feel for those ladies and it's a good look into the hardships of parenting that no one talks about.  Might make you feel a tiny bit better. 

AlmostGone834's picture

Yup I am more than happy with my furbabies. I honestly would not have the energy (severe anemia) or really the patience to keep up with a kid and it's so much harder to raise a child these days. I am an introvert that likes the peace and quiet, the noise would stress me out. I also like the freedom it affords me and lack of responsibilities. I was at one time afraid I'd hit a wall and regret it but so far, not one bit. 

la_dulce_vida's picture

The best advice I can give is to make sure that any accounts have a beneficiary. My retirement account has my 3 children listed as beneficiaries. In my state, that means that all they need is my death certificate to get my retirement account. I used to have my estate listed as the beneficiary, but that would mean they'd have to wait until the will was executed.

I learned from my best friend's mistake when she died nearly 2 years ago. She was madly in love with her girlfriend and had updated her will so the girlfriend would inherit 75% of her estate with the other 25% going to her brothers. Sadly, she did not change the beneficiaries to her retirement account and her brothers were able to inherit hundreds of thousands of dollars immediately. The rest of the estate is insolvent and her girlfriend is still trying to close it, but has been met with nastiness and interference from the brothers who have already cashed in. Meanwhile, girlfriend is caring for my best friend's two dogs who have medical issues.

Name beneficiaries to bypass probate and put Payable On Death (it's called various things) on your bank accounts.

Still, a will is a good idea even if it's just a simple "my wife gets everything and my daughters get $5".

Sadielady's picture

I'm sorry CLove. Lots of good advice here on the legal stuff so I won't add to that. But I did want to say that I understand how you feel about his family ignoring your posts. My inlaws did the same thing. Wouldn't comment on or like anything I posted. I ended up setting up my account to not have my posts appear on their feeds just to spare me the pain. I eventually just removed them from my social media altogether. Now, they don't post on anything my DH posts that involves me or my kids. The pain of being ignored and excluded is deep and real. Especially when it comes from people who once included you. You're a good person. It's clear from your posts. And it's their loss.