Vintage Vibes

By Tracy Nowicki Director of Elder Services

Vintage Vibes topic for the week:  Wills, Trusts, Assets, etc.

I’d like to share an experience we recently encountered at the senior center.  One of our members is currently struggling with the loss of her partner of 25 years.  This unexpected and heart-breaking event is compounded by the fact that they had no supportive family, were not legally married, and lacked any documented arrangements.

Facing this situation without life insurance or legal documents has been greatly challenging for her.  The absence of such preparations meant difficulties in accessing her partner’s bank account due to their unmarried status.  As per Massachusetts Probate Law, without clear legal documentation, such as a Will, the court can intervene, take control of the deceased’s assets and determine the distribution of such assets.  In essence, the unsupportive, absent family members could potentially have rights to your life partner’s assets ahead of you.

In this instance, our widowed friend had to deplete her entire life savings to cover her partner’s funeral expenses, leaving her with nothing.         

The senior center is actively supporting her through this unfortunate process.  

The takeaway here emphasizes the significance of being prepared for the experience of loss, whether it involves yourself, or the loss of a spouse or life partner.  It is essential to designate, in writing, someone (or more) to be the recipient of your estate, money, home, and any other assets you may possess.  While having to think about such scenarios may be uncomfortable and not a top priority, being prepared ensures a peaceful, stress-free, and less confusing life event, benefiting not only you but your family as well.

The Chelsea Senior Center will host a discussion on this topic in the coming months.  We strongly encourage you to attend and learn from this program.  Stay tuned for the date and time of the event.

Until next week, we extend our wishes for strength, support, comfort, and many blessings!  Feel free to contact us at [email protected] or 617-466-4377.

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