Friday, July 27, 2007

Asking for an inheritance...

On another board someone asked the question, how do you deal with inheritances? I feel a bit uncomfortable to say the least asking my parents questions about their money. However I did ask yesterday about whether my parents have a will, they do not. It's a little frustrating that my parents are avoiding their own mortality.

But financial aspects aside, my parents really need to put down the wishes on paper. My grandfather was cremated though my mom and her siblings insisted that he would have preferred an open casket funeral. My grandmother does not approve of that, so he was cremated. But since he didn't leave his wishes known what can you say? I think my family likes to practice "avoidance" more than anything else. Same thing happened to my uncle (my grandmother's brother), he died a few weeks prior to my grandfather and no one knew what his wishes were.

Sometimes I could kosh Asian families on the head. They don't like to admit their mortality and the idea of discussing money is so taboo. So instead they leave their estates in financial ruin.

As for my parents with 4 kids, I wish they would have a will. I was told on another board I should ask my mom now for a few items I want before anything happens. There are two pieces of jewelry, not worth much maybe $500, which I want. One is my grandfather's ring and the other my grandmother's engagement ring. I would also like to have my girl's day dolls. These are quite expensive, but they were given to me as a gifts and not my parent's at all. I also would like my hand-sewn kimono from my grandmother. However these items reside in my parents house. DH knows how I feel about these items and thinks I should ask for them. I would never sell any of these items.

But if I can't discuss money or a will with my parents how can I ask for these things? It seems greedy like I'm expecting an inheritance. I just am very unsure how people deal with inheritances, especially inheritances that are not fiscal. Plus how do equitably divide it among your children.


Zachary said...

Prodigal son? LOL

Anonymous said...

07/27/07 I looked at your profile to see your age. Even though you're fairly young, you could always preface a discussion by saying you are working on your own exit plan, and, by the way, do they have a Will and Directives in case something happens to them. Of course, regardless of age, it is really considerate to have a Will once you reach majority. Once you have kids, it is a necessity. I just can't imagine not having a Will. It would be similar to a huge thankless task for the survivors.

Living Almost Large said...

I may be young but my dad is 77 years old. So it's not like he's young. My mom is substantially younger being 55. So no they do not have directives at this time, something which really bothers me.

Anonymous said...

you parents may think that they don't have a will because they didn't sign anything, but the state they are living in has written their will for them. all US states dictate how peoples estate will be divided. so, if your parents agree with the state, then all is well. otherwise, they need a will. plus there are court fees, atty fees, probate fees. guess your parents won't mind much, working so hard and giving it away to unknowns after they pass.
if i were you, i'd make sure my parents have will yesterday!

JW said...

Thank you for this post. It really makes me think about our situation and some of things that we need to do to prepare for that day.


Living Almost Large said...

I figured that everything would just be split 25% to each child. And we're just argue if they were in a car accident over their directives. After all we all have differing opinions.

This frustration I might add is something my sister shares. Her mother and MIL refuse also to do wills and they are in their late 70s as well. She has constantly badgered them (they live next door to her) and yet they ignore her wishes.

JW I hope your family has a will in place for your underage children.

Fabulously Broke in the City said...

My parents are exactly the same way, but my dad went through cancer, so now he's saying: take whatever you want from us and enjoy it now because it does us no good for you to wait for us to die before you take it.

They finally got a will done too.. after years of pestering.