Death and Taxes

 Tax day, April 15th, has passed and you have either successfully filed your tax returns in a timely fashion, filed for an extention kicking the can down the street until the August filing date, or you will not have bothered with your taxes at all and you will get it done when you are good and ready to do so!

With yearly tax filings comes the sometimes daunting and mountainous task of finding, sorting through, organizing, and trying to make sense of your pile of receipts, papers, and statements in order to get the task done.

This is what, in our home, we call administrivia.  It includes camp forms, school forms, medical forms, and all kinds of  bookkeeping and filing forms.  

It's not something we all jump up and down for, dropping all the other fun things we had planned for the day, cheering  hurray while dancing around giggling...no, in fact, it is never been referred to as fun at all, but these are all necessary tasks nonetheless.

So just like the administrivia we encounter and have to deal with before the April 15 deadline, there is even more administrivia to deal with after you die. And someone else will be left to wade through it all.

Why not take some time to plan for death while you are still healthy? 

I hope you all think: "She's got a good point".

And, let's make it easy for that someone you know who will be sorting through your stuff and picking up the pieces of your lifes puzzle.

Here are some of the tasks at hand after you die that will take time, effort, many phone calls and persistance on the part of someone else to wrap up your complicated life:

  • Stopping mail delivery
  • Stopping magazine subscriptions
  • Stopping catelogues (this take months to do and many phone calls!)
  • Stopping Social Security payments
  • Stopping Medicare
  • Changing all health care proxies or powers of attorney
  • Selling a car
  • Cancelling credit cards, bills, possibly utilities
  • Cancelling automatic prescription refills
  • Changing emergency contacts if you happen to be on everyone's emergency contact list
  • Cancelling future appointments already booked in your calendar
  • Cancelling VA benefits
  • Cancelling insurance payments   

Here's the part you can do now while you are healthy.

  • Reduce the amount of your catelogues to only those you really, really use
  • Get off mailing lists you don't wish to be on
  • Make a list of all the things you have that come to you automatically and a contact number
  • Have a joint bank account instead of a single account so there is immediate access to funds if needed
  • Simplify as much as you can-reduce the number of your credit cards/charge cards
  • Organize your papers in a way that makes it easy for someone to find, read and decifer

I understand how hard this is to do. I get it. All I suggest is that the more you can de-clutter and reduce the administrivia in your life now, while you are healthy and alive, will save that certain someone who will take on the tidal wave of tasks to wrap up your adminstrivia after your death.

Here's another great tip-get a shredder!