What would it take for you to change the course of your life? For you to feel rich in everything you do, the numbers that represent you, and the rich in your heart and soul as you live each day?
What would it take you to say, “Things will be different, starting now.”
The answer is courage.
Death in the Family
When my grandma’s health started to deteriorate due to old age, everybody in the family particularly my mother and her siblings were in unprepared.
Time and money were focused on medication, hospitalization and other expenses that are beyond our financial capability to take care for our loved one. The two (2) apartments for rental of my mom were not sufficient enough to cover all expenses considering that there are also other important needs to cover.
I even suggested to my mom and aunt to sell a piece of land as my grandma owns several properties in Leyte but the will of my grandma is not to sell them for they have invested their time and sweat to acquire those properties during their prime years and share it to the next generation.
Because dying was not an option, we have to exhaust all possible means – love, money and care to prolong her life.
I knew in the beginning that this will come, so during holidays and especially during Christmas vacation I took time to leave from work and visit them. Like any grandparents, they will be delighted and shed tears when they see their grandchildren visiting them. I still have a clear picture and vividly imprinted in my memory when they greeted me at the entrance of their ancestral home.
The worst came, when our family borrowed money from our relatives and friends. Everything is going downhill.
When she passed away on 2010, the hardest part is how to pay our debts incurred during the last years of her life.
The death part of one’s life cannot be prevented, but we most certainly can prevent financial confusion and emotional uncertainly when death is introduced into our life.
These are the things that I wish to ask them. Below are my lists which will somehow serve as your guidelines in the future:
- Does my grandmother have an insurance policy and any other investment or retirement plan? To shoulder her medical needs and other expenses?
- How is her SSS / GIS contribution? Were they maximized in times of need?
- How are her assets (real estate)? Is it earning or just an idle piece of land? Remember you have to pay your real estate tax to the government in a yearly basis. This is the problem if your property is not earning. A residential property that is not earning can be considered a liability rather than an asset.
- Are all her properties already divided and properly assigned to all her beneficiaries? If it was not discussed before the time of her death, it will add chaos and confusion to the loved ones who were left behind. Rule of thumb, especially if you own real estate properties, is you must have a testament or a will signifying who owns each property in your inventory.
- How much money borrowed during her hospitalization and other medical needs? Are there any outstanding bills to pay?
- Are there any individuals who borrowed money from my late grandma? Take time to list them down and do a follow-up. They will understand. I know my late grandma is the person to seek help if her neighbor needs financial help.
- My late grandma has a farm land as her business. Question now is who’s managing it? Who are the tenants? Who’s benefiting the crops after harvesting?
I hope this experience will also give you insights as you prepare for yourself and to your loved ones.
About the Author
Acer is the Community Manager and Forum Moderator of CebuBarkada.com. Aside from having a full-time job working in a BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) company in Cebu, he also keep himself busy increasing his financial knowledge and at the same organizing public trainings during his free time. He wishes to venture into other businesses. Catch him online in CebuBarkada.com Forum!