The cult classic film Harold and Maude features an awesome piece of automotive engineering: the Jaguar hearse Harold constructs after his mother takes away his beloved 1959 hearse (a Cadillac Superior coach, owned by a collector in Modesto, CA). Sadly, the original Jaguar hearse was destroyed during the filming of the movie in 1971. But there's a recreation of this cinematic hearse that would make a memorable sendoff for those who want to make a big impression with a small vehicle. Ken … [Read more...] about Have Everything? How About a Final Ride in a Jaguar Hearse?
We are a nation of unbridled consumers – and as we age, all those consumer goods have to go somewhere – given to our heirs or to charitable organizations, sold or given to strangers or carted to the dump. When you look at the numbers, adults have a lot of downsizing to do. According to the 2007 video The Story of Stuff, the United States has 5% of the world’s population, yet we’re using 30% of the world’s resources and creating 30% of the world’s waste. An incredible 99% of the materials … [Read more...] about Our Household Goods Live on After We’re Gone
Killing and grief are all over the news and social media this summer. From the shootings in Orlando to Dallas police officers gunned down while protecting protesters, and all the other killings we’ve seen, our grief reactions have a pattern. Immediate reactions are shock, numbness, horror, sadness, anger and tears. Then come the candlelight vigils, the public memorials with flowers, flags, candles, teddy bears and hand-drawn cards expressing love and remembrance. Grief reactions can vary … [Read more...] about How Grief and Mourning Reactions Can Vary
For the next twenty years, an average of 10,000 people each day will reach age 65. All those retiring baby boomers face major life changes which may include downsizing into smaller living quarters, retirement communities or assisted living settings. When you’ve lived in the same place for years, stuff tends to accumulate. Here are seven ways to reduce materials goods before making a move. Decide Your Approach There are different ways to tackle downsizing. You can focus on specific … [Read more...] about Effective Ways to Downsize Household Goods
"When Death Calls," a Toastmasters International Speech competition entry by Gail Rubin, makes a compelling case for making end-of-life plans BEFORE death calls. This includes wills and trusts, advance medical directives and pre-need funeral planning. Gail Rubin, CT, is a death educator who uses humor and funny films to help break the ice about end-of-life issues. In this speech, she illustrates her points with stories about her own parents and two very different phone calls with The Doyenne of … [Read more...] about Before Death Calls – Why We Need to Plan Ahead
More than 70% of adults avoid preparing for end-of-life realities. They don’t have wills or trusts, advance medical directives or pre-need funeral planning in place before there’s a death in the family. One way to convince people to make these arrangements is to examine the many responsibilities an estate executor has to carry out. An executor can be a spouse, adult child, a legally-appointed friend or relative, or a trust company named by the decedent in their will or trust (decedent means the … [Read more...] about After The Funeral: An Executor’s Checklist
Many items within a household can affect the overall value of the estate. These items include art, jewelry, collectibles, antiques, musical instruments, and the house itself. Appraisals provide a snapshot in time of each item’s value. This helps estate planning attorneys to accurately structure equitable distribution of assets as dictated by the client. Appraising Art There are many forms of art: paintings made with watercolors, oil, acrylic, and mixed media; prints made by lithograph, screen … [Read more...] about Appraisals and Estate Planning
When parents tell their adult children, “It’s all taken care of,” regarding their end-of-life arrangements, what do they mean? Assuming they’ve worked with an AAEPA-affiliated estate planning attorney, of course they’ll have a will, a trust, and advance medical directives in place, with health care and financial power of attorney designees and back-up designees. These elements, while vital, still fall short of taking care of everything. Consider these important often-overlooked … [Read more...] about What Does “It’s All Taken Care Of” Really Mean?
Among the challenges estate executors face – one that doesn’t get talked about much – is all the stuff they have to contend with from the deceased’s household(s). How can you help your clients maximize enjoyment of their possessions and minimize the sheer volume of objects heirs will one day have to contend with? Downsize. You don’t have to be old or dying to downsize. When you’ve lived in the same place for a decade or two or three, stuff accumulates. We get attached to pieces of clothing, … [Read more...] about Three Good Reasons to Downsize
The cremation rate in the United States is predicted to surpass 50% nationally in 2016. Are your clients in those states that choose cremation at a higher rate? How does that impact their estate planning? According to the Cremation Association of North America (CANA), as of 2014, the top five states in percentages of cremation are Nevada – 75.98%, Washington – 75.2%, Oregon – 73.9%, Hawaii – 72.6%, and Maine – 71.2%. The states with the lowest cremation rates are Mississippi – 19.7%, … [Read more...] about Cremation, Memorial Services and Your Estate Planning Practice
Estate planning attorneys who want to help their clients consider issues like preparing or updating wills and trusts and advance medical directives, and doing pre-need funeral planning, will find this TEDx talk to be helpful. TED talks – TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design – are all about ideas worth spreading. TEDx talks are locally-produced programs licensed by the main TED organization to further spread interesting ideas. Gail Rubin, CT, presented her talk, A Good Goodbye, … [Read more...] about A TEDx Talk for End-of-Life and Estate Planning
When you’re The Doyenne of Death®, you get asked some strange questions. At a recent public presentation I gave called “Laughing in the Face of Death: Funny Films for Funeral Planning,” members of the audience asked a wide range of questions – and the first one involved estate planning. Q: “Is it true that a will is no longer valid after five years?” A: A will remains valid indefinitely until changed. However, you’ll probably have life changes that will impact the details of the will over … [Read more...] about Ask The Doyenne of Death