I had the unfortunate experience of losing my mother- in-law just before covid hit. Her death was unexpected and of course very emotional for us all. In addition to dealing with extreme grief and sadness, my husband’s family felt overwhelmed by everything that needed to be done so they asked for my help with the estate matters.
My mother-in-law was always a very private person so she really didn’t discuss her final wishes much with family. However, one thing she did, which certainly made my job easier, is she had a living trust created with my father-in-law several years ago. And even better, she had everything properly funded into the trust. So when we found the trust neatly tucked away in her office file cabinet, we all breathed a huge sigh of relief.
In the weeks following her death we were able to easily transition her bank accounts and her CDs, and start the process of filing transfer paperwork on her house. Everyone we encountered during the administration process was easy to work with and delighted that she had a trust. What was interesting, is even the financial institutions we worked with were quick to reveal how much having a living trust made their jobs easier. Most financial administrators told us how they always dreaded dealing with an estate that didn’t involve a trust. The lack of a trust made the process lengthy and cumbersome for families they dealt with.
The best part of my mother in law having a trust, was the fact that it very specific about how things were to be divided and who was in charge. There was no guesswork involved. She had even pre-purchased a plot to be buried next to my father-in-law who died several years ago.
So I write this column today not from an attorney standpoint, but as a member of a family who has lost a matriarch. I write this column as a daughter-in-law who is tremendously grateful for the wonderful gift my mother-in-law left to her children in the form of a Living Trust.
Hopefully my own personal family experience will inspire and motivate you to get your own estate plan in place so that you can leave the same gift to your family. Trust me, your family will be overwhelmed with grief over the loss of you. Don’t give them more to stress over. Take care of things now and I am confident, they will be filled with gratitude later. – Cynthia Brown
Cynthia Brown Esq. is a current advertiser of Folsom Times and a longtime resident of Folsom and an attorney serving the Sacramento, Placer and El Dorado Counties. She can be reached for an appointment by calling (916) 235-8689 or by email at: email@example.com or visiting her website at www.cinderlaw.com where you can find more information and seasonal specials.