Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Settling In and Planning for the Future

As I mentioned yesterday, I have a new dog in my household. Poochie is a wire fox terrier. At first I was worried that she would not blend into my pack of puppies, but she is settling in rather well. She spent some quality time with me last night on the couch watching House. I think she will settle down just fine in another day or two. All the dogs like being on my small couch. We just have to establish a new routine that works for all, I was off my normal routine last week, so things did not go as smoothly as I would have liked. Life is settling back down.



What has this got to do with personal finance or bankruptcy? Not a lot, but it also has to do with planning. My elderly friend who really owns Poochie has no extended or immediate family. She has adult step children she gets along with well, but no family of her own. The scary part is she can not stay by herself at the moment, so another mutual friend of ours has driven down to NJ (like yesterday morning) and picked up our elderly friend and her remaining dogs. They are all settled in their new living quarters in Southern New England. Our mutual friend has the space for both our elderly friend and her few remaining dogs.


Planning-my elderly friend is in no shape at the moment to lucidly tell us what provisions she has made for the rest of her life. I'm sure there is paperwork (house, personal, financial, business) at her home, but she was so out of it when she was picked up that the decision made by family and mutual friend was to just get her out of the house. Her step daughter will go back to the house in the next day or two to search for paperwork so we can all figure out what the next steps need to be. We think she made plans, we ( step daughter included) are pretty certain, but we can not find paperwork that outlines her plans.

As much as none of us want to think about it, we need to have our ducks in a row. Someone or several someones need to know where your records are. It should be your spouse, a trusted friend, a legal advisor, a family member, someone. You need to have your records all in one place, a lockbox, a file cabinet, etc. You need to plan for a Power Of Attorney and a Medical Power of Attorney. In my friends case, plans need to be made and known for the animals. My friend is lucky, she has someone (and in this case several folks) who can take her animals. Worst case scenario, her beloved pets could end up in a shelter or a rescue situation.

I've got a file in my file cabinet that has my important papers. I thought about it last night, most of my 'important papers" reflect a different time in my life (my will, my POA, etc) and they are in dire need of updating. I don't think my very long ago ex-boyfriend wants the responsibility of handling my estate and affairs. I also have my animals, I don't have any clear written directions on what is to happen to them should something happen to me. I think my friends would come to bat for me like we have for our elderly friend and assist my animals.

Sorry for the rather depressing post, but when you have it sort of "dropped" in your lap, you think about it.......

3 comments:

boots586 said...

When my friend had a serious stroke, it was my wakeup call to get my affairs in order. It was pretty creepy to do the living will, power of attorney for health thing, but now that everything is set up, I don't have to think about it anymore. It is just part of living alone. That, and exercising so I can get up off the toilet....

Moving on up said...

That certainly is something to think about.

Anonymous said...

Your friend must be enormously relieved that you were able to help with the animals, that was very kind of you. Even though I don't currently have a pet (my beloved dog passed a few years ago), I would be tremendously upset if I could not care for my pet and no one could help.