The typical web user has 25 online accounts, ranging from social media to online banking (according to a 2007 study from Microsoft). Did you know that most include a clause that makes your assets non-transferable upon death and many will force account deactivation?
Even if the rights are given to you in a Will or Durable Power of Attorney (POA), using them can be difficult. As I found when I tried to act on my parents behalf when they were both alive — you may have the right by law and on paper — but that doesn’t make the vendor accept that you have the legal right. After several financial firms told me they wouldn’t accept the POA my parents completed in 2002 (if was over two or five years old which was their requirement), we ended up drafting a new one. Most lawyers will tell you they don’t go stale — but I didn’t have the time to pursue a legal battle with banks — thankfully — I found out before it was too late for my parents to sign a new POA.
I learned that having the paper with the rights isn’t as easy to use as you are lead to believe. Even if you are named the “digital executor” it won’t guarantee you have the power to bestow access to your loved ones.
You have the power to make this a simple matter. Write down your usernames and passcodes and put them in a place your loved one could find if they need to use it. One way to document this information is in a MemoryBanc Register. Experienced.
Two current news stories on this topic can be found here:
What Happens to Digital Assets when you Die? (12/2/2013) Grand Rapids Business Journal
This is our first Thanksgiving without my Dad. Both parents have traditionally joined us for Thanksgiving. Last year my Mom was having difficultly with the change of scenery. I gave her my scrapbook to look through which helped keep her busy and brought calm to her disposition.
When we were discussing the pick-up time for today and writing it on my Mom’s calendar, she says “Your Father and I were really looking forward to coming to your house for Thanksgiving this year.” My heart skipped a beat.
The past few years have been quite a journey for our family. I’m thankful for all that my parents have taught me in my childhood and as an adult. While I will miss the presence of my Dad at the table, the personal changes I’ve undergone will be with me for a lifetime and have improved my life tremendously. Blessed.
Wow. Ignoring the facts won’t make them go away. They seem unbelievable.
The National Clearinghouse for Long-Term Care Information reported that about 70% of Americans who live to age 65 will need long-term care at some time in their lives, over 40 percent in a nursing home. Learn more by visiting their website and to learn more about how you can plan.
The same report cited the averages: Those who are 65 today will need long-term care services for three years. Women need care for longer (on average 3.7 years) than do men (on average 2.2 years). While about one-third of today’s 65-year-olds may never need long-term care services, 20 percent of them will need care for more than five years.
The most important thing you can do today (at ANY age) is set up a Durable Power-of-Attorney. There may be situations in which even your spouse needs this document. Check with a local estate attorney.
Having your estate planning and financial plan in order is important, but more important is making sure your accounts, access codes and personal papers can be easily found by those who may need to step in and help you. Until our late 80s, we are more likely to suffer a temporary incapacity than we are to die. CNNMoney reported than more than $58 billion in unclaimed money and assets is sitting with state and federal treasurers — it’s the stuff that got lost in the shuffle of a move, personal crisis as well as death.
Here is a link to the full list of papers so you can do it yourself. If you want to be prompted through the process in a workbook format, you can order a MemoryBanc Register. Use the term “Reader” for a 10% discount on your order. Alerted.
While my parents were in Assisted Living together, I rarely met many of their neighbors. Now that it’s just my Mom, I am meeting many of the ladies who share the hallway. Three weeks ago, we rescued a neighbor who slipped from her walker on the way to the TV.
Yesterday, I stopped to answer the request of my Mom’s neighbor who was sitting in the hallway calling “Hello?” waiting for someone to answer. I have talked to this neighbor before and I know her name. I said “Hello” in return. She asked me “Where am I? Should I be doing something now?” My Mom’s neighbor has no memory and is constantly getting lost in the hallway. As we are chatting, she asks me how I know her. I explain that her apartment is next to my Mother’s. “How do you know it’s my apartment?” I tell her that her name is on the door. She asks me to show her and I walk her to the door of the apartment she’s been staying in for at least ten months. She turns to me and then shares that “Oh, I woke up in that room and had no idea where I was.” I smile and point out some of the pictures of her hoping that will help her recognize something in the apartment.
Of the three women in Assisted Living I know with dementia, they are very different. One has trouble finding words and putting her sentences together, but seems to know what she wants to do; a second has no idea where she’s living or what she should be doing, but asks very logical questions; and my Mom who seems to be between the other two women and usually writes up her grocery lists and makes her lunch everyday, but can’t remember how to figure out what day of the week it is even through we have tried to integrate that day clock I bought her almost two years ago into her problem-solving skill set.
The varying ways in which dementia impacts each victim still confounds me. I could be seeing three similar dementia’s in different stages, but I believe the words I was told when I began this journey several years ago. “When you have met one person with dementia, you have met one person with dementia.”
What I have learned is that no matter what stage or type of dementia they have, the ego inside demands to be recognized. I will always treat them as I would expect to be treated. Resolved.
Some simple things that have severed me well, some that took time to learn:
- Approach with a calm, friendly manner.
- Explain what you will do before you do it. “I’ will walk you to your room now.”
- Respect the individual and don’t treat them like small children (You can debate me on this, but these are my rules!)