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Estate planning


SuncrestReef
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Sorry for bringing up a morbid subject, but recent events have forced this into my thought process.  Last week my wife's mother passed away, and we are now sorting through her estate to figure everything out.  As a result, we decided for the first time to consult an estate planner so when we eventually pass, our loved ones aren't faced with a complex jigsaw puzzle of finding and sifting through our assets and finalizing our affairs.

Have any of you ever considered what you would wish to do with your aquarium after your death?  It's not something you can just bequeath to a loved one and assume they will care for it and cherish it the way you do.  Aside from the financial investment in your aquarium, there is the ethical consideration of ensuring the delicate life forms in your tank are cared for in your absence.  Is there someone in your immediate family that would want your tank and would care for your reef inhabitants?

So this leaves me with a dilemma.  Nobody in my immediate family lives within 2000 of my home, and even my wife probably would not want the responsibility of caring for an SPS-dominant reef aquarium and all the automated aquarium technology I have set up.  I'm starting to think it would make sense to identify one or more beneficiaries here on PNWMAS to be designated caretakers for my tank.  It's probably a bit too much to bequeath to a TFT classroom.

Again, sorry for bringing up something that's not pleasant to think about or talk about.  But it's an inevitability.  Have any of you ever thought about this?

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First off, I am sorry for your loss. I have an idea of how hard it is to loose your mother in law. Godspeed to your family on your journey.

Regarding estate planning, the easiest thing you can possibly due is list a beneficiary on all large accounts. It makes the process of handing things over take a few days, instead of years. It also takes a few minutes to do at your bank. Setting up a family trust is the safest way to plan, especially if there is property involved. 

As for my tank, my wife knows who gets it. If we both go at once it is in the will. 

I would also urge folks to write out basic instructions and keep them some place easy to find in case you are hurt and can not be home for a bit. I had written out instructions on the inside door of my tank that my neighbor was able to follow and it kept my system going during a 12 unplanned hospital stay. 

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Interesting... We did our docs a couple years ago, but haven't thought about this. I think if it was only me that went, my wife would maintain it while she found takers for the stuff. I'm confident she could take decent care of them while organizing with the LFSs and locals.
But ya, if we both went? I guess I might just give a shortlist of stores so my executor can call a few and get some offers. I'm guessing someone will be willing to give some cash to the estate and do the total teardown....right?

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Completed our estate plan earlier this year, including a specific binder that says "in case of trouble, Open This." (with instructions inside)

The tank itself is not explicitly listed in the documents, but we've talked about it as a family.  If something happened they're welcome to call one of our favorite fish stores to donate its contents.  

For shorter term emergencies, I have a business card from a local tank maintenance service taped to the hood of my tank.  

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9 hours ago, Higher Thinking said:

My wife would know the only acceptable thing to do.

Call @badxgillen.

That's a tough situation for sure. Hopefully you can get it all dialed in. I don't have much advice on that topic though.

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In all life-or-death situations, we should all donate our corals to PNWMAS for raffles/funds or to @badxgillen.

Who else is going to take care of them? You know?

In my opinion, the community will take best care of them.

@SuncrestReef Just let your family know that any local fish store would also likely be able to send out a technician for help and maintenance.

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