10 months ... - Sarah Woodbury

10 months …

When my father died, last August, my husband made a wonderful video in his memory (here).

That was 10 months ago.  I’m still dealing with his death emotionally, and financially as the executor of his estate. I’ve blogged over at the Indie Chicks Cafe about the kinds of things that might be helpful for every child to discuss with his/her parent BEFORE it is too late …


  1. A will and a lawyer
    .  My father had a will and established a trust for his estate to protect my mom.  He had a relationship with a lawyer he trusted. Thank goodness.
  2. An accountant AND an investment manager: My father did not, however, have either an accountant or an investment manager.  He liked to manage his money himself, which was great when he was alive and able to see to it himself, but added to the nightmare that his death was for me, as the executor of his estate.
  3. A paper copy of all online passwords, in one place.
  4. A transparent filing system: this should have insurance information, medical bills, bank accounts, and investments.  Plus all vehicle titles.
  5. Funeral plans.  Best to discuss your parent’s wishes.  My father had his funeral entirely planned out.  He’d even lined up family and friends to speak.
  6. Any bequests that are not in the Will.  To avoid disputes with siblings, these should be explicit—and in writing, if possible.

Finally, and this can be the hardest thing of all, especially if child and parent are not close, is making sure that you, as the child, say to your parent everything that needs to be said.

On August 1 last year, my mother called me to say that my father wasn’t feeling well (understatement) and wanted to see me.  We live a mile from each other and so I went over immediately.  For an hour and a half that morning, I lay on the bed with my father.  We held hands and said I love you to each other.  I told him I’d take care of my mom.

He died three weeks later.

For more, see:  http://indiechickscafe.com/when-your-parent-dies/

4 Replies to “10 months …”

  1. I had to come out of lurking to tell you how much I love your blog and your writing. Also my heart goes out to you, I can’t even imagine your pain. The list you posted is such a great idea. My heart hurts because I have tried to discuss these things with my mother and she angrily rebufffed me. She has always been a private and secretive lady. I do not know any of her private matters because she feels that it’s too personal. I am the only child and she is in her seventies.

    1. I am so sorry to hear that about your Mom! I do hope that over time, that might change, but with her in her 70s, you may just have to be prepared to cope with all this after she’s gone. Hopefully, she at least has her paperwork filed away, even if she won’t share it with you.

      I’m so glad you commented and thank you for saying such nice things about my blog/writing. All the best to you …

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