leaving your stuff behind

This is not meant to be a morbid post, but when we die, we leave stuff behind, physical and emotional.  Unless we are homeless, destitute, or completely supported by the state, it’s almost impossible not to leave stuff when we check out.  Stuff includes anything and everything we’ve accumulated; all types of assets and debts, whether a home, mortgage, investments, clothes, trinkets, cash, iou’s, hobby paraphernalia, pets, the list goes on.  If we haven’t managed to pass along stuff that we care about while we are living, that stuff either goes to people we’ve officially designated or the state takes over.

Fortunately most state systems are filled with lawyers who advise the living how best to avoid problems passing along our stuff when we die.  We do this because it’s impossible to determine the intentions of a dead person, and because most problems arise from those in the wake arguing over what those intentions were.  Statistics show that 80% of deaths have issues with the way stuff is allocated.

DOD had all the right documents in place.  Still, the documents didn’t go into reasons why the stuff was allocated the way is was.  He and his wife had lots of stuff, a good portion of it junk to those on the receiving end.  Had his wife lived two more months, our family would not be dealing with the stuff and the process would have been uncomplicated.  But because she didn’t, their stuff became his stuff and the process became more tedious.

Thankfully, brother D is a lawyer, also acting as the executor, and managing the process with a cool, level, logical and legal head.  On top of the significant personal and professional time he’s given and giving up, he’s also got to manage the stress from sources trying to come to terms with a dead-man’s intentions.

Most of us make wills and sign beneficiary documents so that we are not bestowing problems for those who are on the receiving end of stuff.  Still, as thorough as we think we are, it doesn’t eliminate the possibility that we’ll end up leaving a small junk pile of stuff behind.

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