Old People’s Problem

My Dad lived to 93, but by the time he got to 90 he was aware that he had lost his edge and I took over the handling of his portfolio, my sister did his (minimal) monthly bills, and my other sister, a doctor, became his telemedicine consultant. It worked out well for him thanks to his kids.

Mrs. Goofy and I don’t have kids, so we’re kind of on our own. We have a will, a living will, and an addition statement of intents in case there’s any question. We also have a trust, and it is to be administered by a Trust Company in case one (or both, I guess) would become incompetent.

We interviewed three trust companies and selected one, but the question is “how do you ever really know?” And especially how do you know what that company will be like 10-15 years from now? (I’m 75, I’m pretending I’m going to make it another 10-15 years. Mrs. Goofy is only 67, so she may have several years beyond me, and she is not so interested in “investing” but it nervous about the future.

So I would be interested in any conversation about how you have handled preparations for “later”, whether or not they parallel ours in any way. Thanks.


“how you have handled preparations for “later”, whether or not they parallel ours in any way.”

We have kids - now adults - and have tried to talk to them about our financial situation. The
wills, willing wills, power of attorneys and such have been prepared with both involved in the
preparation. Basically, we attempt to keep the boys informed about what we do and why. A major
concern is where documentation is available and how they might access the info should “something”
happen to either or both of us. I keep a “cheat sheet” of what is where and try to ensure that
people know what is what. However, my worry is that each child is concerned with their own
circumstance - their own family. One family is close to us but the other is out of the country.

So, even with everything put together and access available - there is still always worry.

Worry is one of those “family” things - starts when you have a family and stays until you pass
I suspect. Recognizing that you will not be able to either “help” or “control” is the main point
folks need to understand.

Relatives, family lawyers and sometimes priests or pastors may be able to help with communications
to other family members - but mainly I think that might be pointing toward where documents are

1 Like

Goofy my wife and I also have no children to lean on when we need assistance. One thing we have found you did not mention - a way pay those non recurring bills - things like doctor Co-Pays or plumber.

We were pleasantly surprised to find a profession exists that just handles opening mail, paying the odd ball bills, etc. The first three we spoke with all worked with Quicken and/or Quickbooks. One was a CPA, one a CFP and the last a retired corporate accountant. They all worked on an hourly basis - about $100 per hour and estimated our demands at 3 to 5 hours a month. Our Trust has a named Alternate Trustee who would sign checks and hire the bill payer. When the Alternate becomes active, job #1 is get another Alternate in line.


A common problem is who will be around and able to serve when the time comes. When changes occur thats a good time to review what you have in place and see if it needs revision. And bring new younger people into the discussion when appropriate.


“Our Trust has a named Alternate Trustee who would sign checks and hire the bill payer. When the Alternate becomes active, job #1 is get another Alternate in line.”

We hired an attorney specializing in trusts, who worked with us. We are co-trustees, obviously, and our nearby daughter is backup if/when we both go. She is also Health Trustee and has POA. Our other daughter is in line, should our backup choose not to do the job or is unable. Our trust INCLUDES the will, of course. Those needing to know (daughters) have a key to our fireproof/watertight case which contains the original documents, as well as copies of all documents, instead of a bank safe deposit box, and know where it is.

I pay our bills routinely and have a ledger (3-ring binder) which has 12-month page dividers and pages I designed and printed out showing routine payments, amounts, dates and check numbers. (Yes - I still use checks for those.) After each divider is also a plastic 3-hole punched sheet into which I put my copies of each bill or other statement pertinent to that month. I go through all this annually and dispose of the “junk” items that no longer matter (for taxes, etc.). Daughters know where this is, too. Our attorney likes what I have done, too.

To each his/her own. Do what works for you!



I’m 86, from the chin up I am in good shape, happily. Unfortunately, my “smart” daughter died in 2020 from cancer, leaving my sweet daughter and two grandchildren to inherit my fortunes.

Right now, daughter is the sole executor of my Trust. She gets it all, plus ½ of my IRA, with the other half split between the two grandchildren, ages 30 and 32 at present. Should something happen to my daughter, I guess my financial manager who I trust, could become trustee for the grandkids.

I am not handing over my inheritance to people I don’t know really well, plus paying a fee.

In Ohio, you can have an attorney write up your trust, but the actual trustee does all the work upon death.