Organizing your abandoned paperwork is one of the most stressful, exhausting and tedious things you can do. So the Joumor (joy + humor + relief) payoff waiting for you on the other side of dealing with it is fantastic. Want to take it up a transformational notch? Deal Joumorously with a family member’s will. The payoff is so huge it just might change your life.
My client has been dealing with her Baubee’s (Yiddish for grandmother) will for over a year. As is common in trust and estate dealings, and although this one is fairly simple, there’s a LOT of paperwork, and a bunch of people involved.
Dealing with a will: Paperwork + $$ + lawyer + family dynamics = @#$&^&*$%@!!
@#$&^&*$%@ = Clutter
The other day we met in-person.
My client spoke of Baubee’s generosity during the last year of her life, and underneath her words I heard Joumor’s Greatest Clutter of All: Self-Judgment. Aha, I thought, we are about to discover the source of clutter that has been the roadblock in completing this project.
During our work together this year, my client has radically dealt with money habits and spending awareness. We have itemized all bills, paid off debt, lowered phone bills, cancelled subscriptions, planned food shopping…we have looked closely at her money, strategized new habits, and tracked everything.
During our session, my client admitted the shame she felt buying extra groceries for her children when Baubee was alive.
“We didn’t need four kinds of cheese.”
“We didn’t need to eat out.”
“Maybe I didn’t need this new laptop.”
“I was careless with gas money. Maybe I shouldn’t have driven so much…or spent more time with the kids.”
Did I mention my client is also going through a divorce? She works full-time and solely supports her children, one of whom was applying to college during this time. During this transition, my client had visited Baubee every day, sometimes driving nearly an hour just to visit for 5-10 minutes after a full workday. For the following 2 years she was there 2-3 times a week. Having power of attorney and health care proxy, she handled all paperwork and payments throughout her grandmother’s illness and multiple moves to and from assisted living in the last 2 years of her life, handled the sale of her house…literally managed her entire life. Her loving Baubee encouraged my client to buy groceries, pay for gas, take classes, buy her children what they needed and overall to be happy…she was over the moon to see her granddaughter every day.
Now, as Executrix since Baubee’s funeral last year, (which of course my client handled), we’ve done all we can paperwork-wise, and are waiting for everyone else in the family to complete their parts. At different times:
The lawyer didn’t respond.
People were away.
My client was working and unavailable to make calls during work hours.
Family members were sick and unresponsive…
It’s very common to judge the past, and thus get stuck where we are now. “If only I hadn’t…”
My client admitted her fears:
- Being judged for buying unnecessary cheese/groceries.
- Dealing with 2 angry family members, one of whom is estranged.
- Feeling tired and at times unable to keep pushing everyone else to finish the will.
- Not fully understanding probate despite having a lawyer.
- Not fully understanding a financial account despite having a financial planner.
- Recognizing that completing this will will be the end of an era and she can truly move on.
After uncovering these fears, like worms under a rock, we made a solid to-do list. The lawyer’s in touch. People are getting their letters notarized…the mail is being delivered.
Don’t underestimate the power of self-judgment clutter! We can’t control other people, but when we’re full of clutter they go away. And when we’re clear, they come to us.
THIS is the power of Joumor. THIS is clutter-free connection.