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Old 07-29-2015, 01:05 PM   #581
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Maggie, send all of our love and prayers on to Doug's Mom. I pray she does not have to endure pain.
On the subject of Estate acct: the manager of the bank Joe used advised me at the beginning to set up an estate acct. To deal with such things, and she assisted me in doing so. They kept a copy of Joe's last will & testament, death certificate, (and some other papers I don't recall names of) on file for our accts. after about 2 yr mark, I closed all his accts, but, keep mine open. It's been almost 3 yrs now, and just a couple weeks ago, another little check trickled in. No problem in cashing it, as they still maintain all those certified copies in my acct. files.
You are right in dealing with lower level employees can lead to problems. Although it was a difficulty for me at the time, I learned to appreciate the fact that Joe named me as executrix in all matters of his estate. Early on, I realized it was a waste of time to deal with anyone other than the highest level in all matters. I always went straight "to the top", as I found those people to be most knowledgeable and responsible...and most willing to assist a recent widow with trying issues. They certainly saved me a lot of stress at a hard time.
I still have extra certified copies of all those important papers, filed away, but, within easy reach, and have needed to access them a few times in past 3 years. I was advised to keep them for at least 10 yrs, maybe more. True, a PIA, but, needed.
From all I learned during that time, it has caused me to plan accordingly, so that my daughter will not be burdened with plowing through the process and trying to figure things out. I'm doing all I can to make it less difficult for her. Just hope it works.
God bless. Evelyn.
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Old 07-29-2015, 01:42 PM   #582
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Thank you, Evelyn.

If I had opened an Estate Account at the bank, deposited appropriate monies into it, then paid funeral expenses and medical bills from it.....the funeral expenses would have been tax deductible. That's a biggie.

Instead, the small bit of life insurance we carried was attached to an annuity, and was taxable. I paid a good chunk of taxes in April, because of that, and the funeral expenses....on which I applied all of the life insurance, plus other monies because that was not enough....were not deductible.

I think that may have been recommended at some point, but I just didn't have the oomph to deal with it, and didn't think it would make that much difference. It would have been beneficial to me, if I had just taken the time and made the effort.

Doug's name is still on our joint checking and savings, and I did open a Memorial Account....not at my bank, which gave bad information, so I went elsewhere....in which to deposit those funds, and then send on to Faithworks.

I hadn't thought I needed to keep the Estate Account open more than long enough to cash the check, but you're right, Evelyn......wouldn't hurt to keep it open another year or two, just in case, or I might have to do all this stuff all over again.

Thanks for that info.


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Old 07-29-2015, 03:01 PM   #583
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Re: estate acct., I kept a small amt of $ in it just to maintain it as open. Check to determine minimum required to avoid penalty fees. Ask your bank to keep and record the appropriate certified forms, (mentioned in my post)...this prevents you from needing to carry them around with you, should it be needed in future.
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Old 07-29-2015, 03:07 PM   #584
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Good ideas.

Asst. Manager told me no fee if over 62, no minimum balance, no early closure penalty.....not what the teller told me.

A bit ugly to fee a widow or survivors for an insufficient balance in an account they have to open to cash a check to a deceased loved one.


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Old 07-30-2015, 06:11 AM   #585
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I love this.
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Old 07-30-2015, 06:22 AM   #586
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And this....
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Old 07-30-2015, 06:36 AM   #587
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Doug and I cut and installed these trellis onto the front porch posts of the little house in the late fall of 2013.

I wanted to plant ivy, to enhance privacy a bit....and because I love ivy on trellis .....so as to be able to look thru them in the mornings....especially sunny mornings....thru the pretty glass items I have on small shelving he installed in my front windows.

Last spring, I planted without him the ivy at the base of the trellis, and have nurtured and nudged its growth up and thru the trellis.

It has filled out and grown.....kind of like my life these past 17 months.


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Old 07-30-2015, 09:35 AM   #588
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ummm

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And this....
the one, everything is after, brought a tear to my eye I actually said "ohhh" out loud!!! made the dog look up...
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Old 07-30-2015, 10:06 AM   #589
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I know.

It didn't make me cry, but it's just so real.

Everything seems prefaced by "Before Doug died" or "When Doug was still alive".....everything now is "Since" or "After".

Such a demarcation in one's life, as most traumatic events are.


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Old 07-30-2015, 09:48 PM   #590
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Yes, Maggie, we all have stories, and most certainly, each difficulty leaves it's mark on our life, and when it is the loss of a loved one...leaves a scar on the heart and a void in the soul.
Without even thinking of it ...automatically gauge time frames by... Before, after, when he/she was alive, since they left....and on and on. I find myself doing it....so often. It's a way of maintaining connection, I think.
God bless. Evelyn.
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Old 07-31-2015, 06:08 AM   #591
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Mmmm, I think that is true, also part of the resolution of the trauma.

I was reading something by Susan Pease Banitt, where she referred to our minds protecting us from flooded emotion by throwing a circuit breaker of sorts, which allows us to function rather than going completely 'round the bend....the cost of that thrown breaker switch being "emotion frozen within the body.......like a movie still going after the sound has been turned off".....and that we can't truly heal til we move fully thru that event, however long that takes.

Is not "a movie still going after the sound has been turned off" a perfect description?

I have a good circuit breaker system...maybe too good...which allows me to soldier on, dealing with things as I go, thru whatever has capsized my life.....and there have been a few of those. Feelings do tend then to lurch to the surface at the darnedest, and most unexpected, times.

Talking with fellow travelers in the Gila a couple of weeks ago, and showing them some pictures, I had a sudden burst of tears when seeing Doug's face.

Came out of seemingly nowhere, but told me clearly I am still moving thru it....doing pretty darned well, but ain't quite there yet.

I have found someone to give a small pile of Doug's favorite shirts to....mostly J. Peterman, and rather old-style, with banded collars. I just could not take them to Goodwill, and felt I would eventually find them a good and fitting home.....which I did.

Another old soul, trapped in a 21st century body and life.....loving cooking from scratch and over fire, building and making beautiful things by hand....also wearing old-style shirts. .

The old ways are ingrained into him, and he/his wife's lifestyle. Those ways practiced in 21st century life take passion, dedication, and time.

Doug always said he was born 100 years too late......this man, more like 200 years ....and Doug would have liked these two.

Somewhere he is nodding his head in approval.


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Old 07-31-2015, 09:58 AM   #592
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Understanding

Maggie,

Remember you have some of us who look at your thread and can fully understand where you are. As a parent who lost a son about two years ago, I am with you all the way.

Some things we do not ever "get over" but learn to move forward holding on to every wonderful memory we can. There is no right or wrong way to grieve over a loved one. But, for sure, being active in sharing, allowing us to be with you in spirit, this is much more of a gift to those of us lurking than you can ever know.

Thanks so much,

Tommie
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Old 07-31-2015, 10:38 AM   #593
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Sorry for your loss, Tommie. No parent is ever prepared to outlive a child.

What you say I have been told by so many people, and it encourages me to keep writing about the most mundane range of widowed life experiences.

It's something we're all going to go thru at some point in our lives, and if my writings help others, that is a double blessing......because they so much help me, and keep friends and family from far too frequently being held hostage by my need to talk.


On another note......the legal department at PNC also requires "letters of office" to open an estate account, not just the Small Estate Affidavit I was originally told.

Letters of office come from a judge after an attorney files papers requesting appointment of an executor when a will is filed in probate court......probate court not required for estates like Doug's and mine, which are small, where we have wills naming executors and the bulk passes directly to our respective children.

Attorney fees, filing fees....

What a pain in the ass, and how cumbersome. They basically are saying they don't want to deal with small estates, by requiring something needed only for larger ones....in order to open an estate account so one can deposit a check made out to a deceased's estate.

The assistant bank manager has applied for an exception for me, a 35 year customer of this bank, for this single check. Edward Jones doesn't require these papers to open an estate account, and the credit union where the Interstate loan is (almost paid off!) is looking into it.

This banking institution is too large, in my opinion. When they are no longer user friendly, and when you consistently get different information from different people, there is something wrong.


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Old 07-31-2015, 01:36 PM   #594
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Maggie, I'm sorry you have to deal with all that. I suppose it must be some "odd Illinois law"? When Joe died, he was, at that point, in New Jersey, preparing to sell the little Holiday Village house, (when the fire took him, house and all).
I thought it difficult to deal with both NJ and Colorado laws, but, learning of your dilemma, mine wasn't so bad, after all.

The older I am...more losses...cost of long living I guess. Losing children is a whole different category, though. 1990... Dtr Lynn lost to breast cancer 31 yr old....2000...son Rick and dtr Viv, to auto crash from a drunk driver. They were 40 and 33, respectively. Of 8 siblings,I am only one remaining. Mom and Dad gone many years. Of all these deeply loved ones, I am able to move on within reasonable time frame. The children...no. Though it has been 25 and 15 years since those losses...sometimes it seems so recent. The traumatic grief is eventually replaced with only memories, the best of special times together....a void, where happiness once thrived. One does move forward with life.

My Mom always told me that, "stress builds character"..."pain comes into our lives and God gives us strength and courage to deal with it"..."what doesn't kill us makes us stronger"...." If life was always easy and uneventful with no trials or tribulations...are we REALLY LIVING LIFE"?...and lastly..."Evelyn, you have the strongest and bravest of DNA...Scotch-Irish of me and Dutch-German of your Dad. With this history, you can do anything, be who you want to be...as long as you are devoted to your faith, pursue your education to achieve your goals, and willing to work as hard as it takes to get there. No one can hold you back if you follow these guidelines".

I have followed as she and my Dad taught, and they were correct. I have drawn on the strength and courage God has given to me, as well as my genetic heritage. It does hold true. Mom's and Dad's teachings are words of wisdom I have lived by and have passed to my own children and grands.
God bless. Evelyn.
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Old 07-31-2015, 02:03 PM   #595
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I am sorry for your losses, Evelyn....so very hard those must have been.

It is a cost of a long life that family and friends die around you, leaving you without their comfort and support as you get older yourself. Doug's mom has said for years that all of her lifelong friends are dead. . But, she's 97 1/2....most don't get to live that long.

This check thing is a hassle,, but not a traumatic event. I can and will deal with it.

Edward Jones will open an estate account with just an EIN for the account from IRS...which I obtained online....but their home office requires signatures of all heirs to open it. Including a child who hasn't spoken since 2010. They could then all lay claim to this small pittance of a check...tho I don't believe any would do that.

Back to seeing what PNC can do with an exception.

It's a test, I tell myself......and a small one, in the great scheme of things.

Little house is cleaned, rugs have aired outside and it smells wonderful in here because of that,

Lily has had her walk......all is right in her world for the moment.


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Old 07-31-2015, 08:18 PM   #596
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Soldier on, my dear Maggie...soldier on! Have a restful weekend. God bless. Evelyn.
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Old 08-01-2015, 01:36 PM   #597
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Pounding in stakes for my sagging fence today , trimming this, fixing that....I've gotten pretty good with tools this past year or so.

Watched "Casablanca" this afternoon.....one of Doug's all time favorite movies.

I very much believed....and told him so.....that, as a fatherless son, he took his role models and cues for what kind of a man to be from his favorite movie stars.

Bogart was one of those favorites, and Rick in this movie....crusty exterior, hopeless romantic, rank sentimentalist....carefully hidden to most, but very much known to me.

Line dried sheets for the bed tonight.

Ahhhh, summer.


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Old 08-02-2015, 05:50 AM   #598
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Old 08-02-2015, 09:37 AM   #599
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Maggie, that one picture says it all! Have a nice Sunday. God bless. Evelyn.
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Old 08-02-2015, 10:38 AM   #600
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Hi Maggie,
I've been keeping up with your blog. Your life has sure been a roller coaster lately, but I'm glad you are enjoying the high points. I'm keeping Doug's mom in my prayers - she is one of the "greatest generation". I'm hoping she will be comfortable and have kind caregivers. Hope you have a great trip to the UP - sure beats the heat and humidity.
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