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Archive for July, 2013

Slogging Through the Paperwork

July 20th, 2013 at 04:17 am

I have been trying to help my Mom get any benefits that she may be entitled to since my father's passing. Strike One --- It took a very long time to get through to Social Security, but I was told that they would send paperwork to my mom for both the death benefit and the survivor's benefits. Supposedly the survivor benefits will be automatic. The mortuary had already informed Social Security of the death.

Strike Two --- Called the pension fund to let them know of my Dad's passing and inquired about procedure for the death benefit. I was told that the death benefit was discontinued in 2009 because the pension fund was not doing well. They will send my mother a copy of the letter..........She sure could have used the money.

Strike Three --- I emailed the fraternal union regarding the passing, and claim form procedure. Hopefully I will hear from them soon.

Mom is still planning to move closer this way and sell her farm. I told her to let it rest for a few months first. My youngest brother, J4, lives nearby and is increasing the size of his chicken coop. So Mom will give him her chickens when he is finished. So then the only animals left will be the cats, more cats, and lots of kittens......Smile

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Still trying to get our other house rented. 2 more credit reports appear to be a bit checkered --- late payments, no payments, etc. Probably not worth the risk. Sigh......another couple that my husband likes has not returned our emails or calls to authorize online credit checking. Perhaps they already found another place. So tomorrow I am back to calling the backlog of numbers. I am tired of showing this --- the stress of my Dad has not helped. Next time, I may hire a company or an agent to screen and select a tenant (we will still manage the property). I have gotten so many stories and I am still a bit soft, I think. Everyone seems to be so nice --- and I am sure they are ---- but they may not pay their bills!
A guy at work did give me another perspective: He said that I cannot expect the financial caliber of a renter to be the same as a buyer (or myself). If they were, then they would probably be buying not renting!

Sad News

July 14th, 2013 at 05:05 am

My entries keep getting deleted, but here goes........

I am sad to say that my Dad passed away last week after a short battle with cancer. He was 86, and he will be missed.

One smart thing my parents did was prepare financially for this type of event. The plots (4!) were purchased back in the 1960's -- but I do not know who the other 2 plots are for --- two of brothers are single so by default those are theirs! They also prepaid a mortuary/funeral/cemetery plan (or forethought plan as referenced by the mortuary) about 5 years ago to make their own choices. My mother opted not to go to the mortuary - so one of my brothers and I went to confirm all arrangements. Not all costs were covered (believe it or not -- there are non-guaranteed costs) -- church donation, death certificate, funeral escorts (motor type "cops"), etc. Since the price of those items went up, the difference is owed. Also, flowers were not listed. Total extra cost is about $1800 which does include a 10 passenger limo for the family. Three of us will chip in so Mom does not have to worry.

It also turns out that Mom's income stream will drop by at least 50%. Dad had a pension with no continuance, so that is gone. Mom will go to the Social Security office to collect on his behalf since that is about 3x the amount she is currently receiving. I do not think she can do so until she has a copy of the death certificate. She is entitled to a death benefit of $2500 from the pension. I do not know if Social Security has a death benefit or not. I will call them on Monday. Dad also had some small life insurance listing me as the beneficiary. But I will give her the monies. Luckily, their home is long paid for and there are no big bills. She is considering selling the farm and moving back to where we grew up. 4 out of 5 of us live within 30 minutes from there, and Dad's grave is there. I do not blame her at all for wanting to make a fresh start. I only want her to wait at least a month before making any large decisions.

Anyway, finances sure creep into every facet of life and death.........