Well, this whole "wrapping up a parent's life" is quite a hectic thing. I can't say that I recommend it to anyone. It's not that it's emotionally draining -- though there's certainly emotion rushing through things, and for some people I'm sure it's incredibly draining -- but just that there's SO much to do, and it's unrelenting. And my dad had things in pretty good order. So things are going reasonably smoothly (not "smoothly," I think that that's an impossible concept after any death), but there's just a tsunami of things to do.
I did get a good estate attorney recommended to me, and that's helped a lot. I don't understand all of what she's doing, but what's important is that she does. But so much to sign, and so many accounts to track down and cancel, and insurance policies, and bank accounts and brokerage accounts, and tax accountants, and none of that even touches on clearing out the apartment -- getting rid of all the "stuff," but also giving things away to relatives, and trying to sell off things, as well as ship items back to California. And it's all impacted, as well, by the reality that I don't live here in Chicago, but 2,000 miles away.
It's not a complaint, just maniacally hectic. I can't even imagine what it's like for people whose loss comes much too early and is traumatic, rather than a 95-year-old who had a long, wonderful, full life.,
Some of the morass is understandable. But some of the red tape isn't. Today, for example, I had to cancel my dad's auto insurance and home insurance. For reasons inexplicable to me, the company wouldn't let me, saying that the executor had to do it. (To cancel auto insurance??) I have Power-of-Attorney, though since my father's passed away they said that that doesn't matter -- though I'm not sure if they're right, since his bank is fine with it. And I'm the trustee...but not the executor. The thing is, making it all the more loopy, is that I said, "So, if I called tomorrow, and didn't say my dad was dead, and I wanted to cancel his auto insurance and had power of attorney, I could do that, right?" Yes, Well, okay another thought -- "So, if I didn't do anything at all, and when the next bills came for his auto insurance and home insurance they didn't get paid, his accounts would just be cancelled automatically for lack of payment, right?" Yes.
But because I was diligent enough to call and say that my father had passed away, I can't cancel these accounts -- auto insurance! -- myself and need to get the executor involved. Swell. Nothing like making things as convoluted as possible.
Still, I'm making headway. I have three meetings scheduled over the next week, but the end is in sight. Sort of. For at least the first part, but it's the main part.
And the Cubs won last night, so that was good. And I watched an inning of it in the apartment of a lovely lady I often have dinner with here who lives down the hall -- she's 99. She'll be 100 in just five weeks. When I left her place to come back here, she left the ball game on. So, amid all the swirl, all's right with the world.,..
And the elves back at the homestead watching over things are having the time of their lives, with free run of the place.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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