It’s an unfortunate fact that funerals can often bring out the worst in people. Some of the most long-lasting family arguments have started at a funeral, with squabbles over who should get what. You may find yourself surprised at just who is able to throw themselves into such arguments, even though they are in the midst of their own grief.
You may find yourself being quizzed at the graveside. People can be very clever in their approach, offering condolences and then adding the innocent question of what the deceased has left to whom. You may also find yourself the target of malicious comments regarding your ‘improved financial situation’. There can be more hidden rivalry within families than most would imagine.
You mustn’t allow yourself to be drawn into arguments. Simply pretend to ignore any unwanted comments and questions. If they persist, explain that you are far too upset to think about such matters at the moment and that if they’ve been mentioned in the will then they will be contacted in due course.
In the case of a will never having been made and where there is any disagreement regarding who has the right to what, explain that you will appoint a solicitor to handle the estate and explain, as above, that they will be contacted in due course.
When you feel stronger, you may need to think about:
- Writing a new will.
- Looking into a durable power of attorney for legal matters and a power of attorney for health care in case you are unable to make your own medical decisions.
- Putting any joint assets (such as a house or car) in your name.
- Checking on your health insurance as well as your current life, car, and homeowner’s insurance.
- Signing up for Medicare by your 65th birthday.
- Paying state and federal taxes.